393.115/1220: Telegram

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

1702. Embassy’s 1663, October 21, 9 p.m. [a. m.], interference with American interests.

A note from the Foreign Office number 121 of October 22, 1941 in continuation of note number 114 of October 10 summarized in our 1663, October 21, 9 a.m. has been received. The present note purports to reply to our representations concerning interference with American interests in China. A summary of the pertinent portions follows:

In Tsinan. Discriminatory examination of American official, private, and commercial mail has never taken place and American mail is not singled out for delay. The Chinese authorities placed guards outside American and other designated properties in order to make effective temporary control laws. Although under those laws permission is necessary for the transport of commodities, the taking in or out of daily nondescript and general materials is not prohibited. Suspension of sales was never ordered. Although forms were distributed concerning the taking of inventories and evaluation of stocks, they were quickly withdrawn. Guards were stationed in the vicinity of the American Consulate prior to the receipt of orders from the central authorities; they were withdrawn after two days.
In Tsining. The Chinese police placed a guard at the American Church in Tsining; because the church is at a distance from the city the guard rents a room therein with the consent of the head of the church. Other points raised concerning the church could not be verified. The storehouse of the Texas Company was not occupied and the Company’s representative was not denied access thereto.
Tsingchow and Chowtsun. There was no interference with the Standard Vacuum Oil Company. Gendarmerie did not seal the installation.
Canton. Mail has not been examined. Delay caused by unfavorable weather conditions has been somewhat ameliorated by the efforts of the authorities. End of summary.

The Embassy invites attention to the emphasis laid in the note on the alleged lack of discrimination in the handling of mails at Tsinan; [Page 924]it is not denied however that mails are examined. Otherwise the note is similar in tone to the previous one, and the same general comment applies as that expressed in our previous report.

Sent to the Department via Shanghai; Shanghai please repeat Canton and Peiping; Peiping please mail to Tsinan.