Memorandum by the Counselor of Legation in China (Perkins) of a Conversation With the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs (C. T. Wang) at Nanking on January 17, 192927


Accompanied by Mr. Price,28 I called on Dr. Wang, by appointment, at 10 a.m. and explained to him that I was visiting Nanking and Shanghai for purposes of observation and to maintain contacts with officials of the National Government. …

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Dr. Wang then took up the question of the continued occupation of American mission property by the Chinese, and said that we did [Page 437] not know how much trouble he had had in this matter and the vigorous efforts which he had made to have such property restored. He said it was the definite policy of the National Government to effect the complete restoration of all of these properties and he would be pleased to have all specific information available on this matter, giving the names of the detachments of troops and of their commanders. I observed that such property was still occupied not only in and about Nanking but also in other parts of China, especially in Hunan, and inquired whether he could effect the restoration wherever occupied. He replied in the affirmative. Dr. Wang then took up a defensive attitude towards this question, stating that in time of war it was the practice of soldiers to occupy property necessary for their purposes without discrimination as to such property’s being owned by natives or aliens, citing the American practice during the Civil War. Mr. Price then observed that apparently it had been the practice of the Chinese commanders to occupy foreign property in preference to Chinese. … I then remarked that many of the properties, when returned after such occupancy, had often been found in anything but good condition and that such treatment did not seem to indicate a very great appreciation of the kind of properties to which he made reference.

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M[ahlon] F. P[erkins]

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in China in his despatch No. 1962, March 11; received April 15, 1929.
  2. Ernest B. Price, Consul at Nanking.