893.711/89: Telegram

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

403. Your 1376, December 22, 7 p.m. and Shanghai’s December 21, noon.

As your telegram under reference merely states what you believe to be the reason why the Chinese authorities are denying to the Far Eastern Review the use of postal facilities, the Department can only assume that you have made no representations to the Chinese authorities.
The Department instructs you, therefore, to file immediately with the Minister for Foreign Affairs a protest against denial in this case of the use of postal facilities and to request a rescission of the order in question. You should inform the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the preparedness of the American Government to acquiesce in the denial of postal facilities in certain cases (See Department’s 356, October 24, 3 p.m. and 373, November 21, 5 p.m. to the Legation, and [Page 669] 247, September 8, 6 p.m. to Shanghai). You should add that, although the Department realizes that Mr. Rea’s connection with the “Manchoukuo” regime may have influenced the Chinese Government in taking the action referred to, nevertheless, the Department points out with all seriousness the fact that this action as such will probably produce unfavorable comment in the United States and elsewhere as indicating an arbitrary method of interfering with the freedom of the press (the Department has not heard of any Japanese papers or press agencies in China being denied postal facilities) and that the use of such arbitrary methods will force the American Government to take its stand on the general basis of its duty to protect the legitimate interest of all American publications in China. You may assure the Minister for Foreign Affairs that the American Government does not intend to support Mr. Rea in his political activities in the service of the “Manchoukuo” regime but point out to him that his Government’s attitude toward that phase of Mr. Rea’s activities is quite separate and apart from this Government’s attitude toward the protection of the property and rights of an American citizen in China which are jeopardized, as in this case, by arbitrary action on the part of the Chinese Government.