93.94/13328: Telegram

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

423. 1. My British colleague81 informs me that the French Ambassador in London recently told the British Foreign Office that if Japanese troops should occupy Hainan the French Government might find it necessary to take some step further than mere diplomatic representations and expressed the hope that the British Government would cooperate. When asked what sort of step his Government visualized, however, Corbin pleaded ignorance. No Anglo-French understanding on this issue appears therefore to have been reached.

2. Craigie yesterday took occasion to bring up with the Minister for Foreign Affairs the question of Hainan. Ugaki said that there is no present intention to occupy Hainan but that if in the course of the advance on Hankow or a later advance on Canton such occupation should become a strategic necessity it would take place. The Minister, however, said that such occupation would be temporary and repeated to Craigie the former categorical assurances of the Japanese Government that the territorial integrity of China will be respected both as to the mainland and the islands.

3. Craigie informs me that there can be no question but that great quantities of arms and ammunition are coming into China from French Indo-China by different routes, a considerable amount being smuggled by Chinese junks. He believes that most of this material is contraband and that a great amount of graft is involved in the process of importation. This is one of the chief problems with which the Japanese now have to cope.

Repeated to Shanghai for Hankow.

  1. Sir Robert L. Craigie, British Ambassador in Japan.