793.94/6106: Telegram

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

284. Department’s 92, March 22, 7 p.m.; and Tientsin’s March 27, noon, to the Department and the Legation.

[Page 257]

I have summarized those telegrams and Tientsin’s March 21, 1 p.m., to Tokyo adding the following:

“In view of care taken by Japanese to drop leaflets in English warning foreigners at Lingyuan, Jehol, of coming air raids with request that national flags be displayed on foreign property and the foreigners take cover when planes appear over city, I in urgent letter to the Japanese Legation have assumed that Japanese aviators failed to see American flag displayed from flagpole on Kautto’s property. I have requested that Japanese military authorities be immediately notified of the above facts and that steps be taken to safeguard American lives and property from further danger.

Department in its 92, March 22, 7 p.m., suggested that if deemed advisable I refer matter reported in paragraph 1 above to you for presentation at your discretion to appropriate Japanese authorities. In hope of local settlement I refrained from referring matter to you but in view of subsequent developments both matters are referred to you for such action as you deem appropriate.”

Have also informed Lockhart of action taken and, with view to expediting action by military authorities, have suggested that Japanese Consul General at Tientsin be informally notified of this Legation’s action.