893.4061 Motion Pictures/100

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

No. 2416

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Legation’s despatch No. 2365, November 7, 1933, in regard to the complaint of the Motion Picture Association of China against the action of the National Government Motion Picture Censorship Committee in fining foreign distributors for irregularities on the part of Chinese exhibitors over whom the distributors have no control, and to enclose for the Department’s consideration a copy of despatch No. 95–Diplomatic, December 5, [Page 698] 1933, from the Counselor of Legation at Nanking, together with a copy of the Legation’s instruction in reply.99

The memorandum of conversation enclosed with the Counselor of Legation’s despatch indicates that these fines have been imposed upon the distributors because of the Censors’ difficulty in dealing directly with the Chinese theatre owners, particularly in the settlement areas of Shanghai, and that the Board of Censors feels that it is justified in imposing these fines in its efforts to establish its authority.

In view of this attitude of the Board of Censors, the Legation has expressed the opinion that protest of the imposition of these fines would not further the interests of the distributors. The Counselor of Legation at Nanking has, however, been directed to continue his interest in this matter, and, should the occasion arise, to express the Legation’s concern at this action of the Board of Censors in deliberately violating the treaty rights of the American distributors in its efforts to enforce its authority upon Chinese exhibitors.

Respectfully yours,

For the Minister:
C. E. Gauss

Counselor of Legation
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