The Department of State to the Japanese Embassy60
The American Government has throughout viewed with disapproval the presence in this country of an American citizen acting in the capacity of a salaried spokesman for the unrecognized political regime in Manchuria. It has been our assumption that this spokesman has been here with the approval if not the express authorization of the Japanese Government, or at least that without the approval of the Japanese Government he would not have been here in that capacity.
In probably no other country is the principle of freedom of speech more completely observed in practice than in this country. The American Government places few restrictions upon and makes little objection to free expression of opinion. However, we regard as anomalous and undesirable the employment of American citizens by foreign countries in the endeavor to influence public opinion in the United States in the direction of modification of views or policies or of adoption by the United States of views and policies differing from those to which the American Government is giving effect. It is felt to be particularly objectionable that advantage is taken by such persons of the freedom of speech in the United States to carry on propaganda in behalf of and at the instance of governments which would not regard with indulgence similar activities in their territories on the part of the employees of foreign countries.
Adverse criticism by a citizen or subject in the employ of a foreign government of an attitude or policy of his government cannot be expected to cause a change in his government’s attitude or policy: such criticism usually serves merely as an irritant and to becloud understanding of, and to render more difficult a friendly and frank approach to, problems in relations between governments. The activities of such persons therefore are a disservice to both governments concerned.
This Government, seeking to promote amicable relations between the United States and all countries with which this country has relations, doubts the wisdom of employment by foreign political authorities of American nationals as spokesmen for such authorities and would certainly view with regret any further use by such political [Page 785]authorities of American nationals as their spokesmen or “unofficial representatives” in this country.
- Handed to the Japanese Ambassador by Eugene H. Dooman of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, November 28.↩