The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Davis)
9. The Department is informed by a telegram from the Legation at Peking that it learns from the British Legation that the Japanese Foreign Office has sent a note to the British Embassy at Tokyo outlining alleged violations of Chinese arms embargo by Great Britain, United States, and Italy. As regards this country you may inform British Foreign Office that all applications for permission to ship explosives and munitions to China have been very carefully watched and that the Department is confident that no permits have been issued except for usual small consignments of sporting arms, sporting ammunition and several shipments of industrial blasting explosives. You may state to the Foreign Office that in considering this question it has to be borne in mind that our control over arms shipments to China has been exercised under war powers which may at any time be withdrawn by Congress. Furthermore information thus far available to the Department scarcely warrants such a confidence in the practical efficacy of the embargo as would justify it in asking Congress for a continuance of the special powers by which we have thus far imposed restrictions upon our manufacturers. The Embassy at Tokyo is being instructed to consult with the British Embassy and ascertain whether such charges have been made and whether the Japanese Government has suggested termination of embargo.