893.00/12518: Telegram

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

856. [Legation’s] 848, November 11, 1 p.m. Following from the Minister [at Nanking]: [Page 544]

“November 14, noon. My November 10, 1 p.m. In response to November 13th inquiry of Commander in Chief Asiatic Fleet as to my reaction to report from British Chief of Staff that British ships are carrying Chinese soldiers on daylight run on Upper Yangtze, the arms of the troops being stored in hold of vessels and British armed guards supplied thereon, I replied as follows:

‘My position unchanged. I feel that if shipping company desires to charter ship for transportation of troops it must do so on its own responsibility and in the light of its own interests. I feel that during the period of charter for this purpose presence on such ships of armed American guards will establish dangerous precedent.’”

For the Minister: