Nanking Embassy Files, Lot F79, 852 Land

The American Embassy in China to the Chinese Ministry for Foreign Affairs

No. 371

The Embassy of the United States of America presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China and with reference to its note No. 293 of May 4, 1948 has the honor again to call the Ministry’s attention to delays and difficulties which American citizens who acquired rights to real property in Shanghai prior to the effective date of the 1943 Sino-American Treaty are encountering in obtaining title documents for their property although formal applications therefor were made pursuant to the regulations of the Bureau of Land Administration.

The American Consul General at Shanghai recently discussed this problem with Mr. Chu P’ing, Commissioner of the Bureau of Land Administration at Shanghai, pointing out to the Commissioner that applications for the registration of property held by Americans prior to the 1943 Sino-American Treaty were supported by consular certificates regarding the ownership of the property and that in his opinion such certification should be sufficient proof of American property rights unless there was evidence of fraud or similar irregularity. The Consul General at that time pointed out that according to his information the Bureau of Land Administration at Shanghai had been establishing additional requirements which seemed to go beyond provisions of the Treaty.

In reply the Commissioner informed the Consul General that he had referred to Nanking the question of procedure to be followed in the revalidation of American property rights but that he had received as yet no instructions.

In order that the issuance of new title deeds to American property owners may proceed without further delay and in order that the apprehension of American property owners in Shanghai may be removed the Embassy urges that appropriate authorities of the Chinese Government issue clear and unequivocal instructions to the Bureau of Land Administration at Shanghai leaving no opportunity for further obstacles and eliminating as far as possible the possibility of future controversy on the interpretation of the pertinent Treaty rights of American real property owners.