893.4061 Motion Pictures/3–3045: Telegram
The Chargé in China (Atcheson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 11:30 a.m.]
538. Finance Ministry officially informed representatives of eight American motion picture companies that exchange for 1945 remittances to US will be granted only for one Chinese dollar per each paid admission (which range from CN4 $40 to $120 excluding taxes and surcharges) and that balance of earnings after deduction of local expenses will be blocked. Ministry stated that exchange will be granted at official rate prevailing during 1945. (Embassy’s airgram 3, January 23, 8 a.m.5) Representatives advising their New York offices and majority urging offices tentatively to stop sending films to free China. They state that under new arrangement, which ignores [Page 1328]steadily rising admission prices and differences in charges, companies will be permitted to remit only five American cents for each ticket sold and that total remittances would approximate only 4 percent of net receipts (based on last 2 months’ business) against 50 percent in 1944.
Representatives have not requested Embassy to discuss matter with Finance Ministry officials. Arrangement for 1944 has been criticized in Chinese press as being overly generous, resulting in “needless” dissipation of Chinese foreign assets, and Embassy believes that present arrangement was made partly to meet those criticisms.