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General at Shanghai, China, in regard to trading with the enemy aliens.
In reply you are informed that the whole question of trading with the enemy is receiving the consideration of the Government at the present time. By an order in council of April 27, 1917, all firms in the United States, the Philippine Islands and Porto Rico were removed from the statutory black list and similar action was taken with reference to firms in the United States upon the confidential black list. There is enclosed a copy of a bill now pending in Congress dealing with the subject of trading with the enemy, and the Department will inform you in the event that this or another bill on the subject is passed by Congress.
It will be observed from the text of this bill that the matter of enemy character being, with some minor exceptions, based on the principle of domicile, and not on the principle of enemy nationality or association, the Government cannot therefore give its sanction to the British black list or the theory upon which it was created.
For your information there are enclosed copies of the President's proclamations of July 9 and August 27 last (together with his explanatory statements)’ prohibiting, save under license, exportation from the United States of certain articles therein set forth. The application of these proclamations is intended to supplement the proposed Enemy Trading Act and to attain as one object the prevention of trade directly or indirectly with, on behalf of, on account of, [or] for the benefit of the enemy, as the term “enemy” is defined in the proposed act. I am [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
File No. 763,721125228
[Received October 24, 12 noon.] Does United States enemy trading legislation apply to transactions with Germans and Austrians resident in China ?
1 Not printed.
? Proclamations printed in Foreign Relations, 1917, Supplement 2, vol. II, pp. 903 and 933, respectively. Explanatory statement to the former not printed, to the latter printed on p. 937 of the same yolume.
File No. 763.72112/5449
The Minister in China (Reinsch) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 10, 11.20 a. m.] Your instructions No. 676, August 31. Is the paying or receiving of rents upon existing leases from or to Germans domiciled in China advisable for American citizens, or would they thereby risk refusal of export licenses?
File No. 763.72112/5228
WASHINGTON, November 30, 1917, 5 p. m. Your October 24, 2 p. m. Enemy Trading Act appears to make
, unlawful for individuals or concerns in United States, except with license, to trade or have any form of business or commercial communication or intercourse or dealings, directly or indirectly with any(a) Individual or body of individuals of any nationality resi
dent, or corporation incorporated, within territory (including territory occupied by military or naval forces) of nation at war with the United States or any ally of
such nation; (6) Individual or body of individuals of any nationality resi
dent, or corporation incorporated, within any country other than the United States and doing business within
such territory; (c) Enemy or ally-of-enemy government, or officer, official,
agent, or agency thereof; (d) Individual or concern (regardless of nationality or resi
dence) who there is reasonable cause to believe is acting for, on account, on behalf, or for benefit, of any above
prohibited classes. While, except with license, trade prohibited everywhere with corporations organized under laws of Germany or [her] allies, trade with nationals of such countries resident in China not prohibited by act unless they fall within classes (b), (d), or unless they are designated by presidential proclamation. President has not issued such proclamation.
* Class (c) is included in a similar telegram sent on Dec. 12 to the Consul General at Saloniki, printed ante, p. 427.
File No. 763.72112/5783
WASHINGTON, December 11, 1917, 6 p. m. Your November 10, 1 p. m.
War Trade Board advises German residents China not doing business in enemy or ally-of-enemy territory are not enemies under Trading with Enemy Act by reason alone of nationality, but may become so by reason of enemy activities which should be scrutinized very closely by you. In absence of other reasons Americans could pay to and receive from such persons rents on existing leases. Above statement based on assumption that Germans are not doing business directly or indirectly through branch agent or other agency within enemy territory and not trading with, to, for, from, on account of or for benefit of enemy or ally of enemy and that property under lease situated outside enemy territory. Department expresses no opinion.
File No. 763.72112A/1431
[Received June 14, 1.08 p. m.] Some American firms desire to acquire property essential or highly advantageous to their business from Germans or firms including German partners. While such transaction does not contravene the letter of the Enemy Trading Act as applied to China, and while it is greatly to the advantage of American business to acquire such property while the opportunity exists before it passes into the hands of others, yet before advising the firms concerned that their action is unobjectionable, I beg to request telegraphic instructions on this subject.
File No. 763.72112A/1431
WASHINGTON, June 27, 1918, 4 p. m. Your June 14, 4 p. m. Purchase by American firms in China of property of German subjects, or of firms including German subjects as partners, not prohibited where such subjects are not enemies within the terms of Enemy Trading Act or proclamations issued thereunder. Not proper, therefore, for you to approve or disapprove such transactions. However, where in your opinion benefits to American firms outweigh benefits accruing to Germans, you may encourage transaction.
File No. 763.72112/9201
Secretary of State
PEKING, May 24, 1918.
[Received June 27.] Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith duplicate copies of “Regulations Governing Punishments for Trading with the Enemy which have been posted by the Chinese authorities throughout the country, the enclosure being a translation appearing in the Peking Daily News of the 21st instant. I find that the Chinese authorities are cooperating closely with the American and British authorities and are acting satisfactorily on information given them concerning infringements of this proclamation. I have [etc.]
File No. 763.72112A/1923
[Received July 9, 10 a. m.] No. 21. Denby for War Trade Board: Americans in China are subject to American law only. The United States Attorney is of opinion that the Trading with the Enemy Act applies to Americans in China, but no American authority in China is designated to administer its provisions. The lack of organized machinery to enforce the act causes confusion. We should take steps to authorize some member of Legation staff to exercise function of bureau of enemy trade who could authorize proper transactions with Germans in this country. The same official should have some of the functions of custodian of enemy property to receive German funds which may pass through American hands. As Germans are not to be deported, this becomes urgent. It is re
According to an instruction of Mar. 18 to the Ambassador in Japan, Charles Denby was a Special Assistant of the Department of State, who had been "assigned to China and also to Japan and eastern Siberia for special duty in making investigations for the information of the Department and the War Trade Board in relation to the licensing of exports to the Far East.” (Fiļe No. 111.70D41/c.)
? Not printed.
quested that Naval Attaché be instructed to undertake above work, for which he has the proper facilities and which he is willing to do. Above would be simple inexpensive method of defining duties and liabilities of Americans in China under Trading with Enemy Act.
I beg to concur in Denby recommendation. The uncertainty in the minds of Americans as to the applicability of the provisions of the act in this jurisdiction constitutes disadvantageous restriction upon legitimate transactions, and absence of any means of administering the act might become an encouragement to improper dealings.
[Received 5.34 p. m.] Denby for War Trade Board:
No. 25. British Government by notice of Peking Legation dated January 1, 1917, declared all subjects of enemy nationality in China to be enemies and forbade all transactions with them. Further provided that all sums payable to an enemy should be paid into a desig
a nated bank and disposed of only on order of British court at Shanghai. The above order was based on China orders in council of 1904 and 1907. The American Trading with the Enemy Act in like manner must be enforced in China or illicit dealings with, and on behalf of, enemies by Americans will result and we will be charged justly by our allies with the lack of cooperation in an essential war measure. I have many letters from upright Americans asking how they can conform to the requirements of Trading with Enemy Act. I renew my advice in telegram No. 21 that the Legation, through the Naval Attaché, exercise the functions of custodian of enemy property, and that he be empowered to authorize proper business transactions with enemies in China. This authority could probably be conferred by presidential proclamation without additional legislation.
File No. 763.72112A/2130
WASHINGTON, August 3, 1918,8 p. m. For Denby from War Trade Board :
Your No. 21, July 8, 5 p. m. and your No. 25, July 17, 1 p. m. It is very doubtful whether Enemy Trading Act is enforceable in China
Probably refers to note 3 to order in council of Jan, 5, 1917,