Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)
I called this morning on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and made representations as instructed (Department’s 43, January 17, 8 p.m.36) regarding the Marine-Gendarme Incident of December 30 in Peiping.
After listening to my full oral statement37 of the circumstances of the incident and the views of the Government of the United States with regard to the unresponsive attitude of the Japanese military authorities in Peiping and the evident lack of any disposition on their part to reach a settlement in spite of the moderate and appropriate requests made in connection with the incident by the Commanding Officer of the American Embassy Guard at Peiping, the Minister said that the version of the incident received by the Foreign Office differed materially from the American version. The Minister nevertheless thought it desirable to make a further effort to reach a settlement locally and he, therefore, proposed to instruct the Japanese Embassy in Peiping to endeavor to bring about a more “responsive” attitude on the part of the Japanese military authorities in Peiping. He at least wished further to explore the circumstances of the incident.
I spoke of the desirability of avoiding the irritation engendered by continuing discussion of such incidents when the disposition of the local Japanese authorities to reach a settlement on the basis of the facts appeared to be lacking. The attitude of the Minister however did not appear necessarily to reflect the attitude of the Japanese military authorities at Peiping without further exploration.