The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 15—10:43 a.m.]
129. 1. My British colleague informed me this morning of the receipt of instructions from his Government to inquire of the Japanese Government as to the accuracy of the report that the Japanese had demanded that the Chinese should appoint no officials in North China without their consent. If the report is stated to be accurate the Ambassador is instructed to inform the Japanese Government that such a demand constitutes a violation of the Nine-Power Treaty whereby among other things the powers undertook to respect the administrative integrity of China.
2. In view of the fact that on June 3 the Minister for Foreign Affairs informed the British Ambassador that the Japanese had no intention of demanding the inclusion of Peiping and Tientsin in the demilitarized zone and also in view of the fact that the Vice Minister informed him on June 8 that no ultimatum had been issued or could be issued by the military without the approval of the Japanese Government, the Ambassador proposes to send his Counselor to see the chief of the China Bureau at the Foreign Office today and to remind him of these assurances and to inquire as to the accuracy of the report mentioned above but without invoking the Nine-Power Treaty. The Counselor will also abserve that the British Parliament is scheduled to meet next week and that questions concerning the reported action of the Japanese in China are practically certain to be asked. If the reply of the Bureau Chief should be unsatisfactory the Ambassador will see the Minister or the Vice Minister on Monday.
3. Clive feels strongly the desirability of avoiding invocation of the Nine-Power Treaty if satisfactory results can be obtained without such invocation in view of the irritation which such action would cause in Japan. I concur. He realizes, however, that he may find it necessary to take that step on Monday.
4. The British Foreign Office hopes that our Government will take similar action but Clive is to make his representation in any case.
5. In this connection Clive informs me confidentially that when the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs returned Cadogan’s call on June [Page 249]14, the Minister said that at the moment when the British Ambassador was with him that morning the Japanese Consul General had interviewed the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and had explained that the Japanese Government had not authorized these latest demands which were not official.
Repeated to Peiping.