The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Howard)
Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of September 2, 1926, in which you stated that you had received instructions from His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to inform this Government that in consequence of the serious piratical outrages which had been committed in Canton harbor by strike pickets, and which had culminated in the recent unprovoked firing on British and other nationals, His Majesty’s Government had instructed the British naval forces at Canton to seize and disable all boats employed by strike pickets. You stated that [Page 727] you had been directed to inquire whether, in view of the recent outrage on and imprisonment of an American citizen, the United States Government wished to associate itself with the action which His Majesty’s Government was taking. The situation at Canton has for some time been receiving the careful attention of this Government and earnest consideration has been given to the inquiry contained in your note under acknowledgment. I regret, however, to inform you that this Government is not in a position to associate itself with the action which His Majesty’s Government is taking in this matter as set forth in your note. It is believed that standing instructions which have been issued to the Commander of the American Naval forces are sufficient to enable him to protect the lives and property of American citizens in any foreseeable emergency.