394.115 Panay/30: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State

625. Department’s 340, December 12, 11:45 p.m.71

Your instructions which had been anticipated have been fully carried out. (See my 619, December 13, noon).73 I said to Hirota among other points that it was reported that Japanese Army forces had orders to fire upon all ships on the Yangtze (Johnson’s December [Page 498] 12, midnight). The Foreign Office was aware that the survivors were at Hohsien as Atcheson had telephoned from that point to Gauss advising that Japanese and Chinese artillery fire were imperilling rescue operations. Gauss had notified Japanese naval authorities who sent a naval plane to the spot to direct cease fire.
We have received as yet from American official sources in China no word of the sinking of Panay.
As Department’s telegram took 9 hours in transmission we suggest that all urgent messages be sent by radio and not by cable via Manila and Shanghai.