893.00/12518: Telegram

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

377. Your 856, November 15, 2 p.m.

Department shares the Minister’s view as expressed in his reply to Commander-in-Chief and takes the position that, if American shipping companies feel compelled by force of circumstance to transport Chinese troops and munitions, they must do so on their own responsibility, and that during the period of charter for this purpose, American armed guards should be removed from such vessels and convoy by American gunboats should be withheld.
Guided by final paragraph of Department’s 359, October 28, 2 p.m., continue to endeavor to persuade the British authorities to adopt the same attitude and procedure.
The Department has informed the Navy Department of its position as specified above. Navy Department, although in accord in substance, does not desire in the absence of any report by the Commander-in-Chief, to issue an instruction.
Inform the Commander-in-Chief.