Press Release Issued by the Department of State on October 25, 193811

According to the best accounts available to the Department, on October 23 there was loaded on the S. S. President Coolidge at Shanghai [Page 746]gold and silver bullion valued at approximately three and one-half million dollars, United States currency. The Chase National Bank in Shanghai had applied openly at the Chinese Maritime Customs for permits to ship the bullion, and the permits had been granted. The Customs Administration also had issued clearance papers for the ship, and on the basis of the Customs clearance the ship had been cleared at the American consulate general.

On the night of October 23 the Customs gave notification that owing to “misunderstanding” regarding the shipment of bullion the clearance of the vessel must be postponed or the ship might clear without the bullion. The American consul general strongly protested to the Commissioner of Customs at the action of the Customs in suspending the clearance of the ship after clearance had been granted and after it had loaded its cargo openly under export permits duly issued by the Customs.

Confronted by this situation the captain of the ship decided to unload the bullion on October 24, and according to press reports the ship sailed this morning.

  1. Reprinted from Department of State, Press Releases, October 29, 1938 (vol. xix, No. 474), p. 286.