The Chargé in China ( Robertson ) to the Secretary of State

No. 907

The Chargé d’Affaires ad interim has the honor to transmit,53 as a matter of record, the text of the Embassy’s note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under date of September 14, 1945 on the subject of protection of American property rights in Shanghai and other recovered areas. The Embassy suggested that to relieve uncertainty on this matter it would be helpful if the Chinese Government would confirm its informally understood policy of returning such property to its rightful owners by making an official announcement and by publicly instructing its appropriate civil and military authorities in accordance therewith.

Also transmitted is a copy of the reply of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under date of September 21, 1945, in which it was stated that as a measure of protecting the property rights of Allied nationals, the Ministry had duly petitioned the appropriate authority to issue circular instructions to the subordinate organizations responsible for the [Page 1413] handling of such matters. In its further reply (copy enclosed) of November 10, 1945, the Ministry of Finance stated that among enemy and public properties in the recovered areas, many were originally financed and operated by Allied nationals but were seized by the enemy and puppets. Therefore, the Chinese Government has set up in the various provinces and municipalities receivership committees to take over all properties to ascertain the original rights thereto and to dispose of item by item in accordance with law. The Ministry states that this policy is intended to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Allied nationals. To serve in Shanghai “which has hitherto been an industrial and commercial center where conditions are markedly unusual”, the Ministry states that the Chinese Government has engaged three lawyers, namely, Messrs. Hsu Shih-hao, Yeh Shao-ying and Chang Shih-chu to act as legal advisers in matters relating to receivership in that municipality so that they may give legal advice when the taking over and disposition of such property takes place.

  1. Enclosures not printed.