The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 16.]
Sir: In confirmation of our telegram 1152, November 15, 6. p.m.,74a I have the honor to report that, in compliance with the Department’s telegraphic instructions via Shanghai 455, November 7, 10 p.m.,74a and 473, November 13, midnight,74a relating to the Chinese courts in the French Concession at Shanghai, I instructed Mr. Crocker, First Secretary of the Embassy, to leave with Mr. Terazaki, Chief of the American Bureau of the Foreign Office, on November 15, 1940, a statement marked “oral” in the sense of the Department’s instructions.
Mr. Crocker requested that the statement be regarded as coming from me to the Foreign Minister and Mr. Terazaki accepted it with that understanding and stated that he would see that it came promptly to the Minister’s hands. Mr. Crocker pointed out that the original statement had been drafted to include an expression of hope on the part of the American Government that Japanese officials at Shanghai would be instructed by the Japanese Government to avoid any action which might result in altering, without the consent of the Chinese Government at Chungking, the status of the Chinese courts in the French Concession, but that before the statement could be prepared we were informed that unfortunately the status of the courts had in fact been altered; it had therefore been necessary to revise the statement to include an expression of regret and disappointment on the part of the American Government that the Government of Japan should have deemed it proper, without the permission of the Chinese Government at Chungking, to undertake to alter the status [Page 893]of the Chinese courts which operate in the French Concession at Shanghai. Mr. Terazaki made no comment.
A copy of the “oral” statement under reference is enclosed.