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

No. 1327

Sir: Reference is made to your despatches No. 2380 of November 15, 1933, No. 2487 of January 24, 1934, and No. 2493 of January 29, 1934,34 in regard to Chinese regulations governing the registration and taxation of land in China.

In view of the fact that the question of the applicability of these regulations to American nationals has arisen at a number of ports and probably will arise at others, the Department approves the Legation’s proposal mentioned in the last paragraph of the Legation’s despatch No. 2487 of January 24, 1934, to circularize consulates in China along the lines of the Legation’s instruction of November 15, 1933, to Swatow, and instruction of January 24, 1934, to Hankow, substantially to the effect that, although the Chinese authorities cannot properly insist upon reregistration of existing deeds as a condition precedent to the continued validity of title conferred by such deeds, there is no adequate reason why American nationals should not be permitted to avail themselves of the opportunity to have their deeds reregistered under the new regulations.

The Legation’s circular instruction also should invite attention to the Legation’s previous circular instructions No. 393 of December 13, 1929, and No. 5 of February 14, 1930,35 in regard to the reexamination [Page 618] of title deeds to property owned or leased in perpetuity by American citizens.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
William Phillips
  1. None printed.
  2. Neither printed; they were based upon Department’s telegram No. 363, November 6, 1929, 1 p.m., Foreign Relations, 1930, vol. ii, p. 567.