893.5034 Registration/1: Telegram

The Consul General at Shanghai (Cunningham) to the Secretary of State

The following telegram has been sent to the Legation:

“June 26, 5 p.m. The Special District Court of Shanghai on June 16th announced a ruling of the greatest importance in connection with the case of Mitsui Bussan Kaisha, Limited, Japanese, against Ho Heng Sing, principal, and Hung Chang Ting, guarantor, both Chinese. While the facts are not material, briefly it appears that in 1928 Ho who was comprador for Mitsui Bussan Kaisha gave Hung as his guarantor on his bond. Recently the comprador disappeared, defaulting something over a million taels. Suit was brought in the Shanghai Special District Court to recover the amount of shortages. The defense upon trial stated that the legal status of the plaintiff was such as to exclude him from bringing the case in court. He pled that Mitsui Bussan Kaisha was not registered with the Ministry of Commerce as required under Chinese law. Judge Ing stated that since the question had not been decided by the Mixed Court or the Provisional Court and the law had long been promulgated requiring registration under Chinese law, he would allow the matter to be handled in one of two ways: 1st, have Mitsui Bussan Kaisha secure registration with the Chinese Government immediately; 2nd, change the plaintiff to the status of an individual and suggested the manager of the firm. Adjournment was had until the 28th.

I am told that the plaintiff will file a very extensive brief on the 28th and insist that the plaintiff has the right [to] prosecute his case. Further particulars will be transmitted after the hearing. There are a large number of American cases which will be affected should this ruling be maintained.

Repeated to Department and handed to Minister at Shanghai.”