793.94/8749: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Bingham)

291. Your 461, July 12, 5 p.m.69

The Japanese Ambassador called this morning by his own request and read to me and later left with me a statement in regard to Chinese-Japanese hostilities near Peiping.70 During the reading of each paragraph I expressed deep regret at the incident and at the conclusion of the reading I specially emphasized with approval the statements made in regard to the efforts of the Japanese Government to work out a friendly settlement of the incident. I pointed out the desirability of the exercise by Japan of general self-restraint. I stated that this country is greatly interested and concerned in the preservation of peace in every part of the world and I expressed the earnest hope that the opportunity which Japan has to make a material contribution in the direction of restoring world stability and peace would not be lost through the getting under way of serious military operations.
Shortly before the Japanese Ambassador called on me, the Counselor of the Chinese Embassy called on the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs and handed him a paper summarizing information [Page 148]received by the Chinese Embassy. The Counselor asked what would be Mr. Hornbeck’s advice to China. Mr. Hornbeck replied that he was not in position to offer advice but that he felt warranted in expressing the hope that each and both sides would exercise effective restraint.
The Department has this afternoon made a release to the press as follows:

“The Japanese Ambassador and the Counselor of the Chinese Embassy each called at the Department this morning and communicated information in regard to events in North China. In the course of the conversations which ensued both were given expression of the view that an armed conflict between Japan and China would be a great blow to the cause of peace and world progress.”71

Thus, it is evident that both the British and the American Governments have acted, independently but simultaneously, toward discouraging prolongation and extension of the hostilities. We have not in mind at this moment any further step which we might deem likely, if taken, to serve a useful purpose; but we would welcome continuous and frank exchange of information and of views as they may develop.
You may inform the Foreign Office of the above.
Publicity should be confined to text of press release quoted above.
  1. Not printed.
  2. See Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. i, pp. 316 319.
  3. This information and the additional account of exchanges with the British and French were telegraphed, July 13, 2 p.m., to the Embassies in China and Japan as Nos. 115 and 112, respectively.