The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 2—2:05 p.m.]
573. Your 374, September 1, 7 p.m., conveyed to the Foreign Secretary this afternoon. He said he appreciated the prompt response and expressed his agreement with your conclusions. He expressed specific agreement with the suggestions in final sentence your numbered section 2; (1) that the powers concerned merely understand inter se that none of them expects to resist with force the overhauling of its merchant vessels for purposes of identification; (2) that nothing is to be said to the Japanese about this decision. The Foreign Secretary will take the matter up immediately with the Board of Trade and other interested officials on the understanding that both the United States and British Governments would take parallel action along this line, and will give me a copy of instructions issued to British shipping. He has not yet received a reply from the French.
In concluding the Foreign Secretary asked if he might have an informal memorandum embodying the Department’s views as set forth in the telegram. This I promised to give him tomorrow morning and he stated that he wished to inform Dominion authorities of the British action and would like at the same time to communicate to them the American views.