Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Stanton)67

During the course of an informal conversation with Dr. Wu68 in regard to the draft commercial treaty which we presented to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 2, 1945, Dr. Wu stated he agreed that it was highly desirable that consideration and negotiation of the treaty proceed without too much delay. He indicated that this was also the feeling of Dr. Sun Fo, President of the Legislative Yuan, with whom Dr. Wu is very closely associated.

Dr. Wu informed Mr. Stanton that he had been requested by Dr. Sun Fo to look into the question of ownership of real property by aliens in the United States, having in mind the differing requirements prescribed by the legislation of the various states of the United States. Dr. Wu said that he and Dr. Sun Fo desired information on this [Page 1318] question in order that they might be in a position to answer questions which would likely be propounded by their colleagues of the Legislative Yuan in regard to the extent to which Chinese may acquire and own real property in the United States. Dr. Wu said further that both he and Dr. Sun Fo feel very strongly that the conclusion of a treaty with the United States is of particular importance in view of China’s dependence upon the United States and the support and assistance which the United States is giving to China.

There ensued some discussion of the complicated nature of this problem and of the formula which appears in our draft treaty regarding real property. Dr. Wu expressed the personal opinion that the provisions in our draft treaty on real property would in all probability be acceptable to the Chinese Government. He said that he and Dr. Sun Fo hoped it would be possible for them to appear before the Legislative Yuan, which as the highest legislative organ of the Chinese Government is responsible for the ratification of treaties, and be able to state that in a majority of the states of the United States Chinese may acquire and own real property. He said he thought this would satisfy those members of the Legislative Yuan who are inclined to insist on full reciprocity in matters of this nature.

Dr. Wu said that he would be glad to continue informal discussions regarding this particular point in Washington after the Conference and would be very grateful for any material the Department could let him have or could refer him to relating to this particular problem.

  1. Copy transmitted to the Ambassador in China in Department’s instruction No. 167, June 13.
  2. Dr. John C. H. Wu, Adviser to the Chinese Delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, April 25–June 26, 1945.