New York Times
AMERICAN PROPERTY SEIZED BY SOVIET
U. S. Consulate at Vladivostok Prepares to Withdraw Before May 20.
Special to The New York Times
WASHINGTON, April 28. — Confiscation of American property interest in Vladivostok by the Soviet authorities has complicated the situation with regards to the status of the American Consulate in that port, it was learned today. Preparations have been made for the American Consulate to withdraw in advance of May 20, the date which the Soviet Government has set for the withdrawal of it exequatur along with those of other Governments.
Property valued at several hundred thousands of dollars belonging to American firms has been nationalized under the old Soviet law of 1917, which declares all private property to belong to the State, and efforts of American officials thus far have proved unavailing in restoring this property to its owners. One of the principal firms involved in the General Electric Company, with holdings valued at approximately $400,000.
In the case of the latter firm, however, the levy is understood to have taken the form of a tax regarded by Americans as exorbitant, if not actually confiscatory. In other cases the property has been confiscated outright, it is declared.
The American Government as yet has not actually ordered the Consulate at Vladivostok closed and the State Department is at present without advices as to whether the Consuls intend to leave.
The Soviet Government has given notice to the American officials that they have until May 20 in which to regularize their position and obtain new exequaturs recognized by the Soviet Government in place of those granted by the old régime.
According to Boris E. Skvirsky, who up to the time of the amalgamation of the Far Eastern republic with Soviet Russia was the head of the special trade delegation of the Far Eastern republic, the authorities of Siberia are extremely anxious that the American Consulate be kept open and believe no obstacle will be put in the way of allowing the Consuls to remain.
The Consul at Vladivostok is S. Pinkley Tuck, and he is assisted by Charles H. Stephan, Frederick S. Pray and Edward B. Thomas, Vice Consuls.