893.113/1318: Telegram

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

260. Your August 1, 10 a.m.17

Copy of letter from Douglas Aircraft Company to War Department,17 referred to in memorandum of conversation of June 18,17 as subsequently received by this Department, requested that War Department supply 20 Browning machine guns and 20 Lewis machine guns and other subsidiary equipment. No request was made for supply by War Department of bomb racks. Export license issued by this Department [Page 1025] covered 20 Douglas military observation airplanes, each airplane to be equipped with 2 aircraft guns and 2 bomb racks. This equipment coincides as to quantity with that mentioned in the Minister’s telegram of May 25, 3 p.m. from Nanking.18
Department is informed by War and Commerce Departments that Vought Corsair planes and Douglas planes, with exception of Douglas amphibian planes, are primarily for military purposes. The Department is therefore notifying the Treasury Department that in the opinion of this Department exportation to China of Vought Corsair planes and of Douglas planes, except amphibian planes, should be permitted only in case application has been made in the regular manner to this Department for license to export and license has been issued. Also, that in case of a shipment of such planes consigned to Macao but with the ultimate destination a point in China,19 application for a license to export should be made; that under present political conditions in China, this Department views the exportation from the United States to Hong Kong and to Macao of arms and munitions of war, including military aircraft, as destined presumptively for China; and that unless that presumption can be overcome by the exporter in the United States, any such exportation should be accompanied by an export license duly issued by this Department.
Please inform Nanking, Canton and Hong Kong.
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  5. The Treasury Department, in reply on August 12, 1931, denied any shipment to Macao (893.113/1324).