Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Alling)

Mr. Creagh Coen87 said that several Indian nationals residing in California had brought to the attention of the Agency General legislation which had passed the Lower House of the California Legislature and was now before a committee of the Upper House. Mr. Creagh Coen recalled that some years ago the California Legislature enacted legislation prohibiting aliens ineligible to citizenship from holding and working land in California. Apparently some Indian nationals had been able to evade the intent of this legislation by having property registered in the names of their wives, most of them women of Mexican origin who were eligible to citizenship. The act now before the California Legislature would prohibit aliens ineligible for citizenship from benefiting or profiting from land held in the names of spouses who are eligible for citizenship. I asked Mr. Creagh Coen if he could furnish us with copies of the original act and the legislation now proposed. He said that he was seeking such copies and would send them to us next week.

Meanwhile, he said, he had checked with the Chinese Embassy, which had had no similar complaints from its nationals in California. However, the Chinese Embassy had informed Mr. Creagh Coen that within the past few weeks, when the State of Arkansas proposed to enact legislation discriminatory to aliens ineligible to citizenship, the Department had successfully intervened in preventing the enactment of such legislation.

I told Mr. Creagh Coen that as soon as we receive the copies of the papers which he was to send we should be glad to look into the matter to see what if anything could be done.

  1. Of the Indian Agency General.