893.5034 Registration/5–1245: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Hurley) to the Secretary of State

765. With further reference to the problem of registration of foreign firm[s], I am of the opinion that an important reason why more progress has not been made may be that following the departure of Judge Helmick last winter there has been no officer in the Embassy (because of our inadequate staff) capable of pushing the matter on a day-to-day basis with the Chinese Government and of seeing the problem through—that is, until satisfactory legislation has been enacted. I therefore suggest for your consideration that the Department assign to us on a temporary basis as above a competent young attorney with [Page 1214] experience in corporation law who could proceed to Chungking immediately to undertake this work.

I have spoken with Dr. Wu,20 Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, along the lines of the Department’s telegram 639, April 28, 11 a.m., and he has expressed himself as being in full sympathy with the general objective of China’s having modern legislation in the premises; I feel, however, that criticism of this nature if unaccompanied by constructive day-to-day discussion with the officials directly concerned may not be sufficient to solve the problem at as early a date as we desire.

Since the despatch of the Embassy’s telegram 648, April 20, 8 a.m., I have been informed by the local representatives of the Standard Oil Company that the majority of American companies are now in the process of having translated and prepared for submission by the end of next month (deadline June 30) such documents as would be required for registration under average conditions in the United States and also under the [proposed?] legislation prepared by Judge Helmick. The same informant likewise states that British companies are preparing to file their applications before June 30. This again brings up the matter of the suggestion made in the Embassy’s telegram No. 648 that one of the American companies forthwith submit as a basis for further discussion with the Chinese an application in draft form—a suggestion on which the Department did not comment in its telegram 639 but which I believe merits favorable consideration. A telegraphic reply in this connection would accordingly be appreciated.

Finally I am of the opinion that we should render to American companies every possible aid to enable them to compete on terms of equality with other foreign companies.

  1. K. C. Wu.