Chargé Wilson to the Secretary of State.
Tokyo, March 15, 1906.
Sir: I have the honor to confirm your telegraphic instruction received February 23, which reads, deciphered, as follows:a
Immediately upon the receipt of the above, I embodied the sense of your instructions in a memorandum, which I transmitted to the minister for foreign affairs, with a note dated February 23, wherein I set forth the alleged discrimination in favor of Japanese and against American commerce in Manchuria, and, in view of the great importance of the principle involved, requested the Japanese Government’s serious and early consideration of the matter. I have the honor to forward herewith copies of the above-mentioned note and memorandum.
On the 1st instant, when I spoke to Mr. Kato, then minister for foreign affairs, of the present apparent failure of the “open door” policy, he referred to it as a very grave matter, adding that he had not heard of any discrimination. On the 7th instant, a member of the legation who visited the foreign office was told that the note of the 23d ultimo had been referred to the department concerned and that the foreign office would bear in mind the legation’s wish for an early answer.
I have the honor to inclose a clipping from the Japan Times of the 13th instant, announcing an industrial exhibition to be held at Mukden this summer. The day after this item appeared, I caused inquiries to be made at the department of agriculture and commerce, and I append to the clipping an account of the statement of an official of that department made in reply to my inquiries. It will be observed that the project is to hold a bazaar at Mukden, beginning May 1, for the exhibition of Japanese merchandise. The project is under the auspices of the principal chambers of commerce of Japan, and, if not under government supervision, at least the details of the enterprise are well known to the department of agriculture and commerce, which seems to be in sympathy with the undertaking.
Inasmuch as about three weeks have already elapsed since I acted upon your instructions of the 23d ultimo, at my interview with Mr. Chinda to-day I handed him a note verbale, designed to emphasize the importance of the pending question and to hasten the time when I may have the honor to reply to your instructions. A copy of my note verbale of this date is herewith inclosed.
Up to the present time no foreign business men have been permitted to go to Port Arthur or Dalny, excepting those who went to investigate property formerly abandoned there. Some applications [Page 172] have been made through this legation, but thus far without result. The British embassy is in the same position in regard to British merchants. The ambassador informs me that he has been making representations on behalf of his nationals and that he is now taking the matter up under instructions from his Government. Another matter in which he is interested is the restriction against foreign vessels.
A few days ago an American citizen who held a Russian permit to proceed from Vladivostok, over the Chinese Eastern Railway, to Chang-chun, and who held a Japanese permit to revisit Port Arthur, asked me to inquire whether he might go south from Chang-chun to Dalny, stopping en route at Mukden and Liaoyang, at which places also he had abandoned property at the outbreak of the war. In answer to my question the foreign office gave me a statement of the military authorities to the effect that, by the terms of a memorandum concluded between General Fukushima and the commander of the Russian forces, no foreigners were permitted to pass between the zones in Manchuria still occupied by the two armies, except in very special cases and under permits granted by the commanders of both forces, applications for such permission being made to those commanders, between whom mutual arrangement was necessary. I mention this as illustrating the difficulties encountered by foreigners wishing to enter from the north into that portion of Manchuria now under Japanese control.
I shall hope soon to gain information as to the conditions met by Americans who desire to go into Manchuria via Newchwang, the question as to which is the immediate subject of your instructions under acknowledgment.
I have, etc.,