393.1123 Winterle/9: Telegram

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


20. My 18 September 27, 3 p.m.87 and previous.

Following just received from Chefoo:

“September 28, 5 p.m. My September 26, 4 p.m.

(1) Tanaka has yesterday and today refused personal interviews pleading prior engagements. His representative, Yamada, this morning for the first time submitted statements with translations from many Japanese, Chinese, Korean and ex-Russian witnesses to the effect that Skoof and several other American Navy officers and men participated in the attack on Honda and other Japanese. These I have promised to send, if submitted with certified translations, to the Embassy and appropriate naval authorities. Yamada has orally again repeated his request for a personal apology in writing or orally from me to Tanaka and the guarantee previously reported, with the addition that if no guarantee is given Tanaka will request a Japanese man-of-war next summer for the protection of their nationals. I made a similar reply to that reported in paragraph 2 in my telegram of September 25, 6 p.m.,88 adding that there was ample time between now and next Spring to reach a diplomatic solution of the present difficulties.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5) I would appreciate an early opportunity for a personal conference with the Ambassador in Chefoo, Nanking or Peiping.”

I have replied as follows:

“September 29, 4 p.m. Your September 28, 5 p.m., paragraph number 1. You may tell the Japanese Consul that you have referred the matter of an apology to me and that I have authorized you to say that there can be no question of an apology or guarantee by you, that you are prepared to transmit to the United States naval authorities any complaints he may have against enlisted and commissioned personnel of the Navy and that your Consular Court is open to hear any complaints that he or his nationals have to make against American citizens.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3) Your telegram under acknowledgment and this instruction repeated to Department and Peiping.”

The Department may wish to authorize Paxton to come to Peiping for consultation. I am leaving for Shanghai tonight and expect to be in Peiping on October 5 or 6 returning to Nanking about October 17.
Situation at Chefoo grows more complicated. The Japanese Consul appears to me to be a very unreasonable person and Suma practically washed his hands of matter in consultation with Peck. I suggest that Ballantine89 be ordered to Chefoo to investigate whole matter and make recommendations as to what should be done. Paxton seems to be in a position from which he can not extricate himself without some assistance and I am not yet sure enough of the facts to make any requests of the Japanese Embassy. Ballantine and Paxton might come to Peiping at the same time.
Department’s telegram No. 7, September 27, 2 p.m. Paragraph 3 of my No. 17, September 26, 3 p.m. repeated to Paxton today.
Repeated to Peiping.
  1. Not printed.
  2. See Embassy’s telegram No. 17, September 26, 3 p.m., p. 1091.
  3. Joseph W. Ballantine, Consul General at Mukden.