The Secretary of State to the Minister in China (Johnson)
Sir: The Department has received the Legation’s despatch No. 479 of September 23, 1930,60 in regard to the substantiation of American losses at interior points in China arising from bandit and similar activities resulting in the looting of American property in the hands of native agents.
In reply to the Legation’s request for the Department’s views concerning the adequacy and feasibility of substantiating these losses by the statements of reputable Chinese firms, inasmuch as the Chinese Chambers of Commerce61 have been forbidden to substantiate such losses, the Department does not consider that it would be justified in making the definitive statement that such evidence will be sufficient in such cases. So far as the Department is presently concerned it would be disposed to accept such evidence as satisfactory proof of the losses but it could not give any assurances regarding the treatment of such evidence should the claims eventually be considered by an independent tribunal, such as a claims commission, or as to the weight that would be given to the evidence by the tribunal.
The Department will receive and consider any material evidence that is offered for the support of these claims and when examining the claims with a view to their discussion through diplomatic channels, it would be disposed to regard the evidence in question as the best evidence possible to produce in the circumstances.
Very truly yours,