123 C 353/215: Telegram

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

34. Following from American Consul [General] at Mukden:

“January 6, 2 p.m. Headquarters official spokesman last evening declared to the press that Army authorities regret the Chamberlain incident and are willing to make if necessary amends but it has been determined already that Chamberlain seized the interpreter with both hands after which he reached with his right hand to his hip pocket attempting to draw a revolver.

Regarding this aspect of the incident, the chauffeur was again questioned [Page 735] this morning. He stated that Chamberlain descended from the left side of car and crossing in front of car to the point where the three men were standing, in Chinese asked the plain-clothes man whose sleeve he lightly touched at the same time, why he was being detained and asked his name. He was then struck at whereupon he immediately retreated into the car offering no resistance whatever. This corroborates Chamberlain’s fuller statement which, however, does not mention the sleeve touching episode which the chauffeur states could in no wise be regarded as menacing gesture. It may be added that the chauffeur states Chamberlain was cursed at when he presented his English-Chinese card to the plain-clothes man and many times thereafter.

Army authorities have taken the standpoint that as Chamberlain provoked the attack, little if any fault is to be found with the conduct of the two Japanese soldiers who have already resumed their duty.

According to reliable information, anti-American as also anti-British feeling exists among the rank and file of the Japanese troops and in my opinion this case is a manifestation of it.”