893.5034 Registration/11: Telegram

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

594. Legation’s 579, July 12 [16], noon. Following from American Consul at Nanking:

“July 18, 8 p.m. Singer Sewing Machine Company’s case was heard today by the Kiangning District Court. The company was represented by its agent named King but was not represented by an attorney.

The following questions and answers were asked and answered (omit preliminary questions) according to the Consulate interpreter who listened to the case:

Court: Is the plan [company] registered?

King: I do not know. Probably it is not registered.

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Court: According to law, a firm not registered cannot sue. An unregistered firm cannot be considered a juristic person and only a juristic person can sue. It would be better for you to sue in the name of the agent.

King: Until now the name of the company has been used because all property belongs to the company.

Court: Recently the law has required firms to be registered, and you doubtless know of the case that occurred in Shanghai.

King: If the company is not registered, will you dismiss the case?

Court: Of course the cause [case] will be accepted, but at any rate the company must be registered.

(Several formal questions and answers that followed are omitted in this telegram.)

Court: Do you supervise the sale of machines?

King: Yes.

Court: Then you can sue.

After further questions asked by the court of the plaintiff and defendants concerning the merits of the case, the court announced that judgment would be given on July 21.

Minister and Shanghai Consul General informed.”

For the Minister:
  1. Telegram in two sections.