893.113/1307: Telegram

The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Acting Secretary of State

417. Legation’s 406, July 9, 5 p.m. Following from Consulate General, Canton:

“July 10, 3 p.m. Referring to Hong Kong’s July 7, 4 p.m., Canton Aviation Bureau substantially confirms shipment of military airships from England and Germany. According to the agreement delivery is to take place in Hong Kong to Cantonese gunboat. British airships were shipped from factory last week and machines arrive [Page 1020] within 6 weeks. Bureau states that in [sic] obtaining release of airships from country of origin is seller’s business regarding which they have no information.

Bureau also confidentially informed me that an order has been placed with American company, probably L. E. Gale Company, for 12 American military airships to be exported as commercial aircraft to Hong Kong where they are to be armed with Browning machine guns and delivered to Canton gunboat. Local authorities anticipate no difficulty in obtaining delivery provided seller is able to obtain export license.”