The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson)
392. Your 593, September 13, 2 p.m. You refer to action taken by the British Government and the French Government by way of [Page 524]“warning” the Japanese Government that occupation by the Japanese of various islands would involve serious difficulties with third powers; and you state that the Foreign Office expressed “a very general wish” to know what, if any, action the United States proposed to take in this matter.
It is desired that you say to the Foreign Office that on January 7, 1932, the American Government sent to the Chinese and the Japanese Governments identic notes21 declarative of this Government’s intention not to recognize any treaty or agreement entered into between those two Governments possessing certain characteristics or any situation, treaty or agreement brought about by means contrary to the covenants and obligations of the Pact of Paris of August 27, 1928. This Government adheres to the principle laid down in those notes. It has subsequently committed this country in certain treaties to the application of that principle in certain situations. It also has affirmed general and particular principles of its policy in the statements of the Secretary of State of July 1622 and August 23, 1937.23
You should also state that the Department is instructing the American Ambassador at Tokyo24 to confer with his British and French colleagues and in his discretion make an appropriate approach to the Japanese Foreign Office on the subject of the seizure of Pratas Reef and the dismantling of the meteorological station there.