893.506 Manchuria/24: Telegram

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

517. Department’s 3, January 4, 7 p.m., 1935;46 Legation’s despatch 3702, July 22, 1935.46 The Consulate General [at] Mukden reported by despatches Nos. 29 and 32 of September 25 and October 3,47 respectively, that a life insurance monopoly was evidently shortly to be established in Manchukuo. Copies of these despatches were sent to the Department and Tokyo. A news item appearing in the Manchuria Daily News for October 20 reports that an imperial ordinance was issued on that date authorizing the establishment of the “Manchuria Life Insurance Company” at Hsinking; the formal establishment was set for October 22. The capital is fixed at 3,000,000 yuan, one-half of which will be taken up by the Government.

The tenor of the news item indicates that existing life insurance interests in Manchuria will not be eliminated from the field by this development, and this would accord with the information given in Mukden’s despatch of October 3, but the Consulate General also reported that the state enterprise would receive a degree of protection from private competition and that the business of private companies, Japanese and others, would be subjected to restrictions.

The Consulate General stated that the West Coast Life Insurance Company of San Francisco is the only American interest likely to be affected. In view of the prior unprotested establishment in Manchuria of numerous monopoly enterprises (note Mukden’s despatch of September 25), and the circumstance that private enterprises apparently have the technical right of competing with the state enterprise [Page 366]for business, the Embassy considers it improbable that a protest would prove effective. It therefore recommends that no action be taken, unless it subsequently develops that the right of co-existence is to be denied to private companies.

By mail to Tokyo, Mukden and Hankow [Harbin?].

Johnson
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