The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the American Institute of Marine Underwriters71

Sir: The Department has received your letter of June 29, 1928,70 stating that the member companies of your Institute are considering [Page 305] entering into an agreement not to insure shipments of arms or munitions to China and inquiring whether such action would be out of harmony with the policy of the State Department or would otherwise be objectionable.

In reply you are informed that the proposed agreement is entirely in accord with the policy of this Department which would welcome its adoption. The Government of the United States is now, and has been for some years past, opposed to the shipment of arms and munitions of war to China. In 1919 it entered into an agreement with several other Powers looking toward the restriction of such shipments. On January 31, 1922, there was approved a Joint Resolution of Congress72 which prohibited the exportation of arms and munitions of war from the United States to certain countries. Acting under the authority of this Resolution, the President issued a Proclamation on March 4, 1922, a copy of which is enclosed herewith,73 making unlawful the export of arms and munitions of war from the United States to China, except under such limitations and exceptions as the Secretary of State may prescribe. Under this authority applications for licenses to export arms and munitions to China are made to the Secretary of State, who has granted licenses in certain cases, chiefly for shipments of small arms and ammunition in limited quantities for sporting or self-defense purposes. It is suggested that a clause might be inserted in the proposed agreement allowing insurance to be placed on shipments from the United States for which such licenses have been issued.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Stanley K. Hornbeck
Chief, Division of Far Eastern Affairs
  1. A similar letter was sent on July 11, 1928, to the president of the Boston Insurance Co., in reply to a letter dated June 25; neither letter printed. (893.113/1136.)
  2. Not printed.
  3. 42 Stat. 361.
  4. Not printed; ibid., 2264.