The American Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Hirota)
My Dear Minister: In my conversations with Your Excellency on November 26th and 28th and in the aide-mémoire1a and the note presented on those dates, the interest of the United States in the preservation of the integrity of the Chinese Maritime Customs was clearly set forth. My Government now directs me to inform Your Excellency that it has noted with gratification the friendly and frank discussions in regard to the customs situation in Shanghai which are proceeding between the American Consul General and his Japanese colleague of which my Government has been apprised by Mr. Gauss. During the course of these discussions Mr. Gauss was asked by Mr. Okamoto whether he had any plan to propose or any suggestions to make, to which Mr. Gauss replied that any arrangement contemplated should, according to our views, adequately protect both the administration of the Customs service and the American interests in that service. Our interest in this matter is very real and we feel that we are definitely entitled through that interest to be consulted concerning any contemplated arrangement and as to whether adequate safeguarding of the interests of the United States, particularly in the preservation of the integrity of the Customs is ensured by such arrangement.
I am therefore to say to Your Excellency that it would be very much appreciated if the Japanese Government would be so good as to render certain that no arrangement with regard to the Customs administration will be concluded without prior consultation with the American Consul General in Shanghai.
I am [etc.]
- Aide-mémoire of November 26, 1937, not printed.↩