Press Release Issued by the Department of State on May 17, 193949

On May 15 the American consul at Amoy, Karl de G. MacVitty, reported that the consular body at Amoy had protested to the Japanese against recent Japanese activities affecting the International Settlement at Kulangsu, Amoy.

On May 16 the American consul reported that the Japanese had withdrawn from the International Settlement at Kulangsu all of their marines except 30. The consul reported also that the Municipal Council of the International Settlement had made a request of the consular body that naval units be landed and that, following the request, a small patrol had been landed from the American naval vessel in port for the purpose of familiarizing itself with the location of American property.

On May 17 the consul reported further that he had been informed by the Japanese consul general that the number of Japanese troops remaining in the International Settlement was 42. The consul reported also that there are now at Amoy the American cruiser Marblehead and destroyer Bulmer, and the British cruiser Birmingham and three British destroyers.

On May 17 the consul telegraphed that following a meeting between the American and British consular and naval representatives it had been decided to land small American and British naval parties at six p.m. today.

The records of the Department indicate that there are approximately 56 American citizens residing at or near Amoy.

The action in landing a small American naval detachment temporarily in the International Settlement at Amoy has been taken pursuant to general standing instructions and is for the purpose of protecting American citizens residing in the International Settlement from individual acts of lawlessness and dangers generally incident to serious disorders beyond the control of the Settlement authorities.

  1. Reprinted from Department of State, Press Releases, May 20, 1939 (vol. xx, No. 503), p. 423.