711.00111 Lic. Wah Chang Trading Corp./93/106

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Edgar P. Allen of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control

Mr. Douglas D. Crystal of the firm Single and Tyler, Attorneys, 116 John Street, New York, came in to see me on September 21, stating that he represented the Wah Chang Trading Company to whom license No. 3174 was issued on August 9, 1937, authorizing the export of twenty Bellanca airplanes to China. Nineteen of these planes were taken off the SS Wichita following the issuance of the President’s statement of September 14. Mr. Crystal indicated that shipment probably would be made on a vessel of foreign registry and inquired whether the export license which has already been issued would be sufficient authorization for such export. I replied that the license already issued authorizes the export of the shipment to China and that no further action would be required, adding that, if any difficulty should be encountered, the Department would, if a new license should be required by the Treasury Department, issue a new license upon the receipt of an application therefor and of appropriate notification from the Chinese Embassy in Washington. I telephoned Mr. Robinson of the Bureau of Customs in regard to the matter. Mr. Robinson informed me that there should be no difficulty whatever in connection with the export of this shipment and that, if any question is raised by the Collector of Customs on the West Coast, the Collector concerned should communicate by telegraph with his superiors in Washington and appropriate instructions would be sent to him by the Secretary of the Treasury authorizing the export of the shipment. I informed Mr. Crystal and he expressed appreciation.

Mr. Crystal inquired whether, should the shipment arrive at Manila in transit to China and should the President issue a proclamation prior to the departure of the shipment from Manila, the shipment might still be permitted to proceed from Manila to China. I replied [Page 538] that I felt certain that, in the event the President should issue a proclamation proclaiming the existence of a state of war between China and Japan, the departure thereafter from Manila of this shipment of airplanes would not be permitted.

Mr. Crystal telephoned from New York on September 22 and said that, in view of the fact that most of the boats traveling to the Far East go first to Japan, it will probably be necessary to ship the airplanes to Manila and make transshipment from there to some other point possibly in Indochina. He inquired whether there would be any license difficulties at Manila. I replied that, since the shipment was duly licensed for China and was proceeding to Manila strictly in transit to its ultimate destination, no license would be required either for its import into the Philippines or for its export therefrom. I added that, if any difficulties should be encountered in the Philippines, appropriate instructions could be issued from Washington. He then inquired whether a new license would be required should the shipment go to Indochina in transit to China. I expressed the opinion that it would not but informed him that the Department has received a letter from the Wah Chang Trading Corporation on this point and that an official reply28 would be made thereto either today or tomorrow.

E. P. Allen
  1. Not printed; the Department informed the Wah Chang Trading Corporation that it would not be necessary to amend these licenses, provided that China remained the country of ultimate destination.