393.115/1150: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in China (Butrick) to the Secretary of State

203. Following is memoranda which I left at the Japanese Embassy in connection with my oral representations on August 1 as mentioned in my 197, August 2, 1 p.m.87

“Information received by the American Embassy at their suggestion from Consulates in China indicates that arbitrary action has recently been taken by the Japanese authorities against Americans and American interests in many parts of China.

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At Tsingtao the travel of Americans is being restricted by refusal of the Japanese authorities to issue travel permits or certificates, the mail of American citizens, including the official mail of the American Consulate, is apparently being held up and censored, American firms are being prohibited from moving their stocks and carrying on business, and they are not permitted to draw funds from Japanese banks to pay their staff salaries.

At Chefoo mail addressed to Americans is being held up and registered mail received by the American Consulate showed evidence of having been opened by censor, the stocks of the Standard Vacuum Oil Company and the Texas Company have been placed under the control of the Japanese special military mission and sales may only be made by permit and the proceeds must be handed over to the Japanese, and American firms cannot withdraw funds from the Yokohama Specie Bank to meet their pay rolls.

At Chinwangtao, Americans embarking for Shanghai are required not only to have a permit for rail travel to Chinwangtao but also a landing permit of the Japanese naval authorities which requires at least one week to obtain. (It is presumed that similar requirements are in effect Tientsin and Tsingtao.) At Peitaiho transportation of baggage or [of?] Americans to the station is forbidden and the railway refuses to receive baggage for checking.

At Tientsin American firms are unable to make rail shipments and the post office has in one instance refused to accept a registered letter addressed by an American firm to the United States.

At Swatow unwarranted interference by the Japanese with American firms engaged in the linen drawn-work trade has occurred and shipments have been obstructed.”

Sent to the Department. Repeated to Chungking, Tokyo, Shanghai, Tientsin, Chefoo, Tsingtao, Swatow.

  1. Not printed.