The Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hornbeck) to the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)
Dear Mr. Grew: I refer to my letter of September 10, 1934,61 to previous correspondence on the subject of George Bronson Bea, and to our conversation during your recent visit to Washington on the subject of propagandists.
We had prepared a memorandum on the subject of the employment as propagandists of American citizens by foreign political authorities, which we intended to send to you as reference material in considering what might appropriately be said to Arita on that subject. However, before we had got around to sending you the memorandum, Bea died, a few days ago. At about the same time, evidence came to hand that the Japanese Government is casting about for some one to continue with certain of Bea’s activities, and we came to the conclusion that any action that might be taken toward discouraging the appointment of an American citizen as a paid propagandist for “Manchukuo” should for maximum of potential effectiveness be taken as soon as possible. We came to the further conclusion that there would be advantage in our making an early approach here to Saito. The memorandum was accordingly appropriately modified and in the course of a conversation was this morning handed to Saito as a memorandum of an informal oral statement. A copy of that statement is enclosed.62
Saito’s first comment after reading the statement was that the cause of “Manchukuo” might be better presented in the United States by a Manchurian than by an American citizen, and that for that reason he had recommended last year that Rea be recalled to Manchuria. However, we made it clear to him that the views which we had expressed to him are applicable, not only to “Manchukuo”, but to Japan or to any other country which places itself in a like position in the matter of propaganda. Saito made the further observation that, if the “Manchukuo” government should decide to send to the United States a Manchurian for publicity purposes, the Japanese Government could do nothing in the matter. We replied that, in our opinion, no useful purpose would be served by the occurrence of incidents which would emphasize the differences between the American Government and the [Page 786]Japanese Government rising out of the political situation in the Far East, and that, if the “Manchukuo” Government were to send an agent to the United States for publicity purposes, and if this Government should feel constrained to refuse him entry, a situation might arise which would not serve the cause of promoting friendly relations between the United States and Japan.
We further emphasized to Saito the point made in the penultimate paragraph of the memorandum.
We assume that the matter of our approach will be reported to Tokyo by Saito. We believe that it would be helpful if you would, if you feel so disposed and have favorable opportunity, reenforce our action here by making some appropriate observation to Arita.