893.4061 Motion Pictures/88
The American Counselor of Legation in China (Peck) to the Director of the Department of International Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Office (Tchou) 96
Dear Mr. Tchou: You may recollect that in June the National Board of Film Censors took exception to certain portions of an American motion picture film entitled “The Bitter Tea of General Yen”. The Columbia Pictures Distributing Co., Inc., the firm which produced this picture, eliminated those portions of the film which were objectionable to the Chinese Government and an inspection of your files will show that the Chinese Minister in Washington telegraphed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that this had been done.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs communicated to the Ministry of Education the telegram which had been received from Dr. Alfred S. K. Sze, and the Ministry of Education informed the National Board of Film Censors. The last named organization then resumed censoring the films presented by the Columbia Pictures Distributing Co., Inc., which they had discontinued in consequence of the dissatisfaction of the Board with the film entitled “The Bitter Tea of General Yen”.
The Legation has now received a letter from the Manager for the Far East of Columbia Pictures Distributing Co., Inc., stating that the Chinese Consul General at Batavia has advised Chinese citizens not to patronize the film in question. This has resulted in loss to the American firm and the latter is very apprehensive that other Chinese Consular authorities may follow the example of the Consul General at Batavia.
The American firm would be grateful, therefore, if the Foreign Office would telegraph to the Chinese Consulates General at Batavia, Manila and Calcutta, informing them that the film entitled “The Bitter Tea of General Yen” has been amended and has been approved by the National Board of Film Censors in its amended form, in consequence of which they should not take any measures to warn Chinese residents abroad against the film.
I should appreciate the courtesy if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would take action in accordance with the request of the American firm, as set forth above.97
Yours very truly,