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

No. 1732

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 1126 of April 24, 1947,27 concerning the fixing of a time limit for the registration of foreign owned land in Shanghai. In that despatch there were quoted the relevant Articles of the Land Law (especially Article 57) providing for a penalty of confiscation of land the registration of which has not been applied for by the owners.

There is enclosed for the Department’s information a copy in translation of an instruction (Characters “Sze Nan”, No. 27039) issued to the Chekiang Provincial Council by the Executive Yuan on July 10, 1947,27 concerning the disposition of land not registered within the time limit. It will be noted that under this instruction, unregistered land in Chekiang Province is to be kept in custody of the land offices for a period of two years from the date of expiration of the time limit for registration. If, after this period of two years, the land has still not been registered by the owners, it is to revert to the State, and to be registered as State-owned.

There is no indication that this instruction is of general application but it is believed likely that a similar policy will be followed elsewhere in China.

If such is the case then rights of American nationals would appear to be less jeopardized by a failure to register within the time limit than was formerly thought, and the question of time limits seems to lose much of its importance.

Respectfully yours,

Monnett B. Davis
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