893.5034 Registration/10: Telegram

The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

579. Legation’s 573, July 14, 6 p.m., and second paragraph of Shanghai’s July 12, 11 a.m.

Following from American Consul at Nanking:

“July 14, 9 p.m. On June 20th the Singer Sewing Machine Company filed suit in Kiangning District Court at Nanking against three Chinese debtors. When the case came up for hearing on June 28th the court orally refused to recognize plaintiff’s right to sue because plaintiff was a company not registered with the Chinese authorities. The court orally directed plaintiff to withdraw its case. On July 12th, however, plaintiff received written summons from the court to appear on July 18th for a hearing of the case.

A letter to me, dated July 10th, from the Singer Sewing Machine Company states that the matter has been referred to the Department of State by the American Consul General at Shanghai.

I assume that the same issues are involved in this case as in the case of the Mitsui Bussan Kaisha at Shanghai. I understand from private inquiries and the press that the Chinese laws in that case bearing upon the attitude of the court are: Articles 25, 30 and 45 of the Chinese civil code; articles 11 and 13 of the Chinese civil enforcement law; provisional regulations relating to company regulation, promulgated on December 10th, 1928, by Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Labor and supplementary articles to the last-named provisional regulations, promulgated on June 28, 1930, [by] the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Labor.

I have advised plaintiff to go to court on July 18 and report developments at once to me. When I have received this report I shall inform the Legation. Unless I receive contrary instructions I shall probably have a Chinese member of Consulate staff hear the case on July 18 as a private spectator. Minister and Consul General at Shanghai informed by special delivery letter.”

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