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

No. 1636

Sir: Reference is made to the Department’s instruction No. 1291 of February 8, 1934,23 “in regard to the prosecution of claims for losses resulting from the looting of goods which are in the hands of Chinese agents but which are claimed to belong to American nationals.” In the instruction it will be observed that the Legation was informed that the question of the ownership of this property as affecting the status of the claims was being studied and that a brief was expected from the Standard Oil Company in regard to the matter.

That brief has now been received and further consideration of the question presented in the light of the brief and Chinese cases submitted with it confirms the Department in the position that it has consistently taken in regard to this matter, namely, that the title to the goods all along remained in the Company.

There seems to be no practical reason why the Department’s telegraphic instructions of April 19, 1933,24 in reply to the Legation’s No. 333 of April 15,25 should be changed at this time.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
R. Walton Moore