793.94/8304: Telegram

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

524. Tour October 28, 8 p.m.54

My approval was based on two considerations: (a) use of corporation’s planes for military purposes would unquestionably result in the withdrawal of American pilots from the service (see section 4090 and 5281 of the Revised Statutes of the United States). This would impair if not completely extinguish operating rights of the American company at least temporarily and be a serious loss likewise to American pilots. (b) See Shanghai’s No. 71, February 18, 1932, 5 p.m., to the Department55 which seemed to warrant informal action to protect rights of American aviators and incidentally operating rights of American company.
The Embassy exerted particular care to make its representations informal and oral, the Embassy purposely avoided taking the matter up with the Foreign Office. It will be observed that Peck discussed the question informally only with the Minister of War. The Embassy would not be disposed to make formal representations on this question and in that case would first seek the Department’s authorization.

The Department’s 261, October 28, 8 p.m., and this reply have been repeated to Nanking.

  1. Not printed; it requested “a brief outline of the reasoning upon which Peck’s suggestion and your approval were based” as reported in telegram No. 512, October 23, 6 p.m., last two paragraphs, p. 363 (793.94/8291).
  2. Not printed.