793.94112/23: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

574. Although I believe that the New York and London Times have the same correspondent in Tokyo,93 nevertheless I venture, with reference to the quoted statement in first part of paragraph numbered 2 of your 374, September 1, 7 p.m., to quote the following excerpt from today’s Times account of Hirota’s94 interview with foreign correspondents:

“Mr. Hirota made it clear that foreign ships carrying munitions to China will not pass safely through the blockaded zones. Invited to define that ‘peaceful trade’ which the navy has promised not to interfere with he replied: ‘Ships specifically employed to carry munitions of war to China cannot be regarded as engaged in peaceful trade’.”

  1. Hugh Byas.
  2. Koki Hirota, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs.