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

No. 1744

Sir: The Department commends the Legation for its despatch No. 3690 of July 15, 1935, in which the Department’s attention is invited to a number of despatches from the Legation and from the Consulate General at Shanghai which tend to show an increasing interest in Shanghai on the part of the Japanese and an increasing determination on their part to assert themselves in matters affecting that port.

The Department notes that the Legation is of the opinion that the events described in the despatches to which you refer would appear to indicate the possible existence of a preconceived plan of the Japanese Government to go its own way in Shanghai with but little regard for the rights or interests of the other foreign Powers.

In the opinion of the Department, the situation under discussion is one of great importance and the Department is confident that the Legation and the Consulate General at Shanghai will continue as in the past very carefully to watch developments in the situation with a view to safeguarding by all appropriate and practicable means American rights and interests, and to giving the Department the benefit of an analysis of each future development of importance, with suggestions as to the best means for meeting it. The attitude of the British Consulate General and the British Embassy in relation to such developments would be of particular interest to the Department.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
R. Walton Moore