The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China (Johnson)
Sir: Reference is made to despatch No. 99 of September 24, 1935, addressed to the Embassy by the American Vice Consul at Yunnanfu,21 which relates in general to the sale of American aircraft in the Province of Yunnan and in particular to the information communicated to the American Consulate by the French Consulate at Yunnanfu to the effect that the Yunnan Railway will refuse to accept American aircraft and aircraft equipment for delivery at Yunnanfu.[Page 554]
In the absence of additional reports in regard to the subjects under reference it is assumed that no developments of importance have occurred. The Department desires, however, that the situation at Yunnanfu be followed closely with a view to obtaining, if possible, additional evidence confirming the aforementioned attitude of the French consular authorities to the effect that the facilities of the Yunnan Railway would not be available for the shipment to China of American aircraft and accessories.
As previously made known to American diplomatic and consular officers, it is not the policy of this Government to encourage the export trade in arms, ammunition and implements of war, including aircraft. Such trade, however, when carried on in conformity with existing law and regulations, is entirely legitimate. Thus the Department would not wish to acquiesce in any situation wherein goods of American manufacture, including aircraft and aircraft accessories, would be subject to discriminatory treatment.
Very truly yours,
- Not printed.↩