893.659 Matches/18

Memorandum by Mr. Myrl S. Myers of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs

Conversation: Mr. Atterberg, New York Match Company, New York;
Mr. Mackay;67
Mr. Myers.

Mr. Atterberg stated that he was calling in the interest of the American Far Eastern Match Company, Federal Incorporated, and [Page 624] the River Trading Company, Federal Incorporated, both of Shanghai, which companies were owned by the Swedish Match Company, and that American interests owned approximately twenty percent of the last-named company. He referred to the Chinese “Match Sales Union” at Shanghai which he stated was expected to have control of the sale of tax stamps and the issuance of permits for the importation of match materials, and said that although these American companies had had no difficulty in securing permits for the importation of chemicals in the past, it was feared that they might be refused import permits in the future. He stated that he had been given the impression that the American Consulate General at Shanghai or the American Embassy had intimated to these above-mentioned firms in Shanghai that if they joined the union the American Government would not give them assistance.

Mr. Mackay and Mr. Myers glanced through the recent files on this case and pointed out that there appeared to be no basis for such a statement. They explained the situation in regard to this matter as it was set forth in the files and referred to this Government’s attitude of opposition to monopolies. Mr. Atterberg was informed to the effect that, with regard to the question whether, in the light of all the factors involved, it would be advisable for the aforementioned Federal Incorporated Companies to effect a working arrangement with the “Match Sales Union”, it would appear that decision should rest solely with the companies concerned. Mr. Atterberg was also informed to the effect that, in the event the companies under reference should be subjected to discrimination by agencies of the Chinese Government, American authorities in China, bearing in mind, however, the admitted fact that in neither of the companies does there exist a direct American interest, would render such assistance as may be deemed appropriate and practicable.

  1. Raymond C. Mackay, of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs.