393.115/11–445: Telegram

The Consul at Tientsin (Meyer) to the Secretary of State

15. [To Embassy:] My No. 14, November 4th, this Consulate General does not question the legality of the principle apparently adopted that stocks and equipment formerly owned by Japanese are Chinese war booty, but when those stocks and equipment are located in American-owned establishments, the application of that principle works a decided injustice on the American firms. In many cases stocks and equipment are identical or similar to those in the premises when the Japanese took over the American firms at the outbreak of war and would be useful to those firms in getting their establishments running again at an early date and as offset against their claims against the Japanese. In other cases dissimilar stocks and equipment could be [eventually] used [as] offset against claims as amount of stocks and equipment involved is infinitesimal compared with the tremendous quantities of other Chinese war booty. If you concur, please take the matter up with highest possible authorities in Chungking [both military] and justice. Mayor of Tientsin has agreed to approach [Page 1404] Chungking and to withhold action pending receipt of new instructions, but he has no control over local organizations controlled by Chinese military.

Would appreciate early reply. Sent to Chungking; repeated to Department.