393.115 Standard Vacuum Oil Company/29: Telegram

The Consul General at Shanghai (Lockhart) to the Secretary of State

836. Standard Vacuum Oil Company reports Chekiang Provincial Government has set up control board for supervision of importation and distribution of certain merchandise including petroleum products and has organized a company to control the importation and distribution of petroleum products throughout the seventh section area including Haimen, Lukiao, Hwangyen, Linhai and Tientai.

Letter further states that for some months the company has been dealing with a control commission set up by the Central Government in Hankow with similar aims, namely control of distribution, prevention of profiteering and prevention of imports from enemy sources. Company’s attitude, already expressed to American Embassy and Hankow control board, is non-agreement to any other measures resulting in restriction of free trade and compliance with restrictive regulations, when unavoidable, only under protest.

Letter further states that British petroleum importer[s] have taken same stand in communications to Chinese authorities both direct and [Page 581] through official channels. While reasons for such measures during hostilities are apparent and while, in some localities, company may be forced to acquiesce, its present chief concern is to maintain as far as possible its trading rights and forestall continuance of control measures after emergency has passed.

Letter requests communications of company’s views to Chinese authorities concerned.

I have written to the Chekiang Provincial Government reviewing rights of American interests involved and requesting that they be relieved from these restrictions.

Repeated to Hankow and Peiping.