793.94/13816: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Shanghai (Lockhart)

The following for Tokyo and to be repeated to Hankow and Chungking: [Page 284]

“309. Your 577, September 5, 3 p.m., Hankow safety zone.

The Department desires that you consult your interested colleagues, with the thought that they may wish to take substantially similar but separate action, and reply to the Japanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs, in such manner as you may deem appropriate, in the following sense:
The Department has carefully studied the Japanese Foreign Office’s note verbale of September 3.
Our views in regard to military operations in and against the specified area at Hankow are well known to both the Chinese and the Japanese Governments. In this connection, however, the Japanese Government will doubtless understand that the American authorities cannot assume any responsibility to either side in the present unfortunate hostilities between Chinese and Japanese forces for any actions or undertakings of the other side.
Attention is called to the fact that from time to time the American authorities have, with the purpose of facilitating the protection of American lives and property and without prejudice to the general rights involved, supplied the Japanese authorities with maps showing the location of American properties in areas of hostilities in China, including properties in Hankow and Wuchang. The specified area at Hankow consists very largely of foreign owned property, including a considerable amount of American property. A considerable number of American citizens are amongst the large foreign community concentrated in that area, and, as the Japanese Government is aware, there are also American citizens and American property in Wuchang.
Irrespective of the outcome of efforts made to separate the specified area at Hankow from all military activities, the American Government fully expects that the Japanese authorities will so conduct their military activities in China as to avoid injury to American lives and properties and makes full reservation of its rights and of the rights of its nationals in the event of the failure of the Japanese authorities so to do.”