693.002/457

The American Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Hirota)

No. 850

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to my letter to Your Excellency dated December 5, 1937, in which reference was made to my conversations with Your Excellency on November 26 and 28, and to the aide-mémoire and the note presented on those dates in which was clearly set forth the interest of the United States in the preservation of the integrity of the Chinese maritime customs.

Acting under instructions from my Government, I now have the honor to reiterate to Your Excellency the continued and great concern entertained by my Government in the preservation of the administrative integrity of the customs at Shanghai and in the safeguarding of the revenues from the customs. My Government would welcome assurances from the Japanese Government that there shall be a prompt release of foreign indemnity and loan quotas and of customs expenses; it would also welcome, and on this point it places special emphasis, additional assurances from the Japanese Government that neither now nor later shall the release of foreign and indemnity quotas be made contingent upon possible future developments, with the understanding that the Japanese Government will not countenance or support [Page 734]any subsequent arrangement which might render such an assurance ineffectual. My Government desires further to be assured that customs surpluses for the service of domestic loans be held in the suspense account of the Inspector General of Customs.

My Government would welcome further assurances from the Japanese Government with regard to the continuance of control of the existing tariffs and procedure as well as the return of harbor craft to the custody and use of the Chinese customs administration.

I avail myself [etc.]

Joseph C. Grew