811.30 Asiatic Fleet/468: Telegram

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

220. Peiping’s 466, July 27, 9 a.m., and Chefoo’s July 25, 2 p.m., in regard to clash between American naval personnel and local police on July 20, and insolent behavior of a police officer at Chefoo on July 22.

The Department desires that instructions to consular officers in China in regard to matters directly bearing upon our foreign relations be issued by you or in your name and with your prior approval. Please so instruct Peiping and Nanking.
The Department considers that it was appropriate for the consul at Chefoo to express the regret of the American naval authorities and to give the other three assurances enumerated in the first paragraph of his telegram under reference, provided he had for that action the approval of the senior American naval officer present. The Department also notes with satisfaction that the consul was able apparently to settle the incident of July 22 locally upon satisfactory [Page 163] terms. There appears no indication in the consul’s telegram of when he became aware of the incident that occurred on July 20 at 9 p.m., and the Department is confident that the consul has in mind the importance, under existing circumstances, of reporting as promptly as possible incidents involving Americans and Japanese in China.
Please convey to Roberts, in such manner as you may deem appropriate, the Department’s comment on his action.

Repeat to Tokyo.