893.5034 Registration/3: Telegram

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

Following telegram has been sent to the Legation:

“July 12, 11 a.m. Referring my July 3, 5 p.m. The view expressed in first paragraph that firms having extraterritorial rights would not be required as condition precedent to force suit in court to be registered is not correct. On the contrary the President of the Shanghai Special District Court upon his return from Nanking stated definitely in conversation that all firms would be required to register before bringing suit in court. Enquiries are increasing in number and I am continuing to express the view cited in the penultimate paragraph of my July 3rd. The Legation’s instructions however are awaited.

Singer Sewing Machine Company on June 28th in a case brought up in Kiangsu [Kiangning] District Court was advised by court to settle case out of court since the company was not registered. The judge called for evidence of registration and since the firm is not registered the case was dismissed. This furnishes a concrete case though it arises in the Nanking consular district but was brought to the attention of this office by the company. The company was requested to appeal to the Nanking Consul for appropriate action on his part. Local inquiry has failed to disclose any definite policy on the part of foreign governments having extraterritoriality. All seem to be awaiting instructions.

I desire to stress the importance of early consideration of the question and the enunciation of a policy for the guidance of this office. It is a serious and urgent matter for American concerns.

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Copies of provisional regulations for registration of companies and supplemental rules are being forwarded by mail.62

Repeated to Department, copy handed to Minister, copy by mail to Nanking.”

  1. Not printed.