The Chargé in China ( Robertson ) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 11.]
Sir: I have the honor to attach hereto for the Department’s information, copies of the outlines of discussions47 held recently between Dr. Chin Fen, Vice Minister for Economic Affairs for the National Government of China and Chairman of the National Control Commission of Liquid Fuels, and the several representatives of the American and British oil companies established in China, concerning the importation of petroleum products into China and the subsequent marketing of same.
It is of particular interest to note the Chinese Government’s expressed desire that the foreign oil companies resume business and rehabilitate their facilities in China. As for rehabilitation, however, I feel that these companies will hesitate to invest the large sums necessary to restore their properties to pre-war condition until they have some fairly definite assurance that the Chinese Government has no early intention of buying and setting up refineries for handling imported crude oil.
There is also attached a copy of the memorandum48 prepared and submitted by the Standard-Vacuum Oil Company at Dr. Chin Fen’s request, outlining the disadvantages to China of erecting her own refineries so to process imported crude petroleum.
I believe that the Department of Commerce will be much interested in the regulations under which the established oil companies are at [Page 1358] present distributing petroleum products released to them by the United States Armed Forces, as set forth in the account of the meeting held November 13, and also in the “provisional Regulations Governing the Import of Oil Products” as translated by The Shell Company of China, Ltd. I suggest that this material be made available to that Department. Incidentally, substantial orders are being booked for importation early in 1946.