393.115/1203: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State

1663. Embassy’s 1458, October 21 [September 15], 9 a.m. [noon],95 interference with American interests.

A lengthy note verbale (No. 114, confidential, American I) dated October 10 has been received from the Foreign Office in reply to our [Page 922] representations of September 196 and previous “with regard to those cases concerning which the circumstances are known today.”

Summary follows:

1. In Japan, no American is prevented from returning to his country, and there are now no restrictions on travel between Tokyo and Kobe.

2. In Manchuria, all persons except officials of recognized powers must have permits to travel outside the places of their residence. It is, therefore, natural to require the American Minister [Consul General?] at Mukden to have such a permit. Route and time of travel are Department’s instructions, and to facilitate control it is said that travel is restricted to first, tenth and twenty-first of each month.

It is untrue that a Fushun missionary had to have a permit to proceed from one part of the city to another.

Manchukuo laws require all mission stations to obtain permission to operate and to submit periodic reports. The one mission at Fushun was asked to close certain stations August 26 because it did not submit such reports. There was no interference with the mission’s primary schools.

The Hsinking authorities did not issue instructions that Americans should be severely dealt with.

3. In Dairen, house to house searches were legally conducted either as ordinary police check-ups or in connection with the ban on short wave radios. No improper violation of residences took place.

The Dairen police took urgent anti-espionage and economic measures when foreign assets were frozen, and the premises of the oil companies in the strategic[al]ly important harbor area were closely watched. Such few difficulties as developed were soon overcome and no watchmen were arrested or assaulted.

The Dairen steamship company refused to sell a return ticket to Jackson Lewis “because of the control of foreign passengers at Shanghai,” and he voluntarily canceled his journey rather than risk not being able to return. He stated that he wished to avoid accepting the advice of American officials to return to the United States.

All foreigners including Germans and Italians have been refused passage on ships in and out of Dairen since July because of ineligibility. Prospective travellers to Manchukuo have not been permitted to leave without first having obtained Manchukuo permits. End summary.

It will be observed that the above communication from the Foreign Office is unsatisfactory, despite our repeated representations and the personal assurances to me of the former Foreign Minister (our telegram 1249, August 15, 10 a.m. [p.m.?])97 that he would endeavor to deal satisfactorily with such cases as came to his attention. The note attempts to explain away a number of isolated cases, and no attempt whatever is made to discuss the general principles underlying our complaints. Although it is not believed that any useful purpose [Page 923] would be served by bringing to the attention of the Foreign Office the [apparent omission] by its misstatements and half-truths in the communication under reference, the Embassy will continue to make such representations as seem appropriate if new cases of undue restraint and studied obstructionism come to its attention.

Sent to the Department via Peiping, Peiping please repeat pertinent portions to Mukden. Repeated to Dairen via airmail.

  1. Telegram not printed; see memorandum of September 13, 1941, p. 915.
  2. Not printed.
  3. See memorandum of August 15, 1941, p. 911.