393.115 President Hoover/21: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China (Johnson)

194. Reference Commander-in-chief’s telegrams of August 30 (hours 1900, 2025 and 2054)30 and press reports in regard to bombing of steamship President Hoover.

As the Commander-in-chief is apparently of the opinion that the bombing was by a Chinese plane or planes, Department desires that you at once make strong representations to the appropriate authorities of the Chinese Government, drawing to their attention the details set forth in the Commander-in-chief’s telegrams under reference, particularly the fact that the President Hoover was anchored in the open sea 17 miles from the Chinese mainland; that there can exist no valid excuse for failure of even an untrained pilot to recognize the identity and nationality of the President Hoover which at the time of attack was engaged in the wholly humanitarian pursuit of removing refugees from the dangers, largely from misdirected bombing, which have existed and continue to exist in Shanghai. You [Page 474] should add that your Government considers the bombing of the President Hoover a particularly flagrant example of wholly unlawful and unjustifiable bombing of non-combatants.

The Department has just received your 564, August 30, 8 p.m., and approves the action taken by you. The Department desires that you supplement the note which you have sent to the Minister for Foreign Affairs with a further note along the lines indicated above and as under express instruction from the American Government.

  1. None printed.