394.115 Panay/302: Telegram

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

47. I hope that our 46, January 21, 7 p.m.,78 concerning disposal of funds contributed by Japanese for the purpose of expressing their sympathy to the survivors of the Panay disaster may have your own direct consideration. The issue involved seems to me of prime importance and I feel that much depends on the Department’s favorable decision. Should these funds have to be returned to the donors, the Embassy, through no fault of its own, would be placed in a most difficult and embarrassing position and I fear that the resulting reaction on Japanese public opinion owing to probably widespread publicity, [Page 210] would be very unfortunate. I think that especially at this time of military depredations we should do our best to retain the sympathy of the Japanese public and that to return these donations to the contributors would very likely cause resentment throughout the country against the United States. I therefore earnestly hope that you may find it possible to accept the compromise which we propose in paragraph 4 of our telegram.79

  1. Ibid., p. 554.
  2. For the Department’s reply, see telegram No. 23, January 23, 4 p.m., Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, Vol. i, p. 556.