The Consul General at Shanghai ( Davis ) to the Secretary of State

1660. Method outlined in Foreign Office note appears satisfactory as far as leases in perpetuity are concerned, but since much land in China is held by Americans under documents other than leases in perpetuity it is believed that a clarification of the intentions of the Chinese Government in regard to these other documents of title should be ascertained, if possible, prior to the enforcement of the two principles (reference Embtel 555, August 30, to Shanghai33). Consul General suggests that Embassy answer Foreign Office note substantially as follows:

First, request clarification as to whether two principles also apply to other documentary evidence relation to real property, such as land-grants, mortgages, perpetual leases issued to missionaries, land ownership certificates, and applications pending before the war; and second, request that appropriate authorities be approached with idea of having them hold in abeyance enforcement of two principles now presumably applicable only to leases in perpetuity until whole matter is settled.

Unless this matter is clarified we may have only partial settlement, which might prejudice rights of holders of other documentary evidence [Page 1330] relating to real property. Early answer to Foreign Office would be appreciated as local authorities are eager to enforce two points at early date.

Sent to Nanking as 949, September 6.

  1. See telegram No. 1659, supra.