The National Women’s League (NWL) illegally profited from so-called “donations to the military” by at least NT$183 million (US$5.97 million at the current exchange rate), a report from the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee said on Monday.
A donation requirement appeared to have been applied to all businesses in the nation, including produce, fruit exports and foreign exchange transactions by the industrial sector, the report said.
The league received NT$183 million between 1958 and 1968 from such donations, the report said.
Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times
Starting in 1955, an “industrial donation” was separate from the “donation” levied on the foreign exchange for commercial imports and export, and the league benefited from the import of large industrial machinery due to its involvement in the building of veterans’ villages, the report said.
The league also received money from flowers that were sold to students in the name of “respecting the military,” the report said.
A total of NT$162.6 million from “donations” from the produce sector went to the league, with NT$9.9 million spent on founding the Hua Hsing Children’s Home, the committee said.
“Donations” were required from the sales of bananas as the fruit was a primary foreign export item to Japan, with a NT$12.5 “veterans’ residential donation” applied for every bunch of bananas up until 1962, the committee said.
Given that Taiwan was exporting 1 million bunches per year, the league would have received NT$12 million annually, it said.
From 1951 to 1965, when the Republic of China (ROC) received monetary aid from the US government, private companies applying for US financial aid through trade unions had to purchase NT$1.25 in national bonds for every US$1 they received, the committee said
The “donations” given to the Taiwan Provincial Import and Export Unions were collected upon the settlement of foreign-exchange deals at appointed banks, and were not “freely donated” as the league has claimed, the committee said.
As military dependents owned neither the land nor the buildings they live in, such villages and buildings are public property built together by the Ministry of National Defense and the league, committee spokesperson Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) said.
The so-called “donations,” amounting to almost NT$10 million, become the illicit private property of the league, Shih said.
A documents found in the leagues’ archives showed the group had “shocked” by the unions refusal to pay NT$318 million in “donations” in 1987 and 1988, Shih said.
By 1989, such “donations” were officially halted, but the league was still shocked by the refusal to give it money, the committee said.
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