893.5034 Registration/11–1844: Telegram
The Chargé in China (Atcheson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 1:44 p.m.]
1857. American business group has asked Embassy to request postponement of date (December 31) by which foreign firms must register (ReEmbs 1235, July 18, 10 a.m.) on following grounds: (1) Recently drafted new commercial law will form basis for future Sino-Foreign commercial treaties; (2) Chinese officials have recently stated laws and regulations would be liberalized to attract foreign trade and capital; (3) Judge Helmick’s43 visit may result in revision of certain laws; (4) new Sino-U.S. commercial treaty has not been concluded.
While sympathizing with difficulties faced by American firms, we do not believe that above reasons will [carry?] much weight with concerned authorities, especially in light of circumstances that (a) they differ from grounds on which postponement of registration time limit has twice been sought and granted and (b) the nature of our own laws governing registration of foreign firms are complex and burdensome (Department’s airmail instruction 795, September 242). We accordingly hesitate without Department’s authorization to make [Page 1007]formal request for additional postponement and suggest that in formulating its instruction to U. S. [us?] Department may wish to consult with interested foreign trade organizations in U. S. with [apparent omission] to delineating if they [there?] exist firmer grounds on which to request postponement again. (Ambassador Gauss recently suggested to Standard Oil and Wm. Hunt representatives that their firms might consider advisability as temporary expedient of organizing special capital companies to act as firm’s agents in China.) Meanwhile opportunity will be sought to discuss matter informally with Economic Affairs Minister.