693.001/487: Telegram

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

59. Reference Department’s 632, November 23, 8 p.m.73 concerning unwarranted Japanese interference with American interests.

During the past 30 days this office has addressed letters to the local Japanese Consulate General, requesting passes for Hankow for T. D. Malcolm, a British employee of the Standard-Vacuum Oil Company; R. J. Reed of William Hunt and Company; O. E. Vongehr, Federal Incorporated United States of America; and E. C. Stocker of the Texas Company (China) Limited. The foregoing three are American citizens. These men are needed in Hankow in connection with the conduct of their respective companies. The written applications have been followed up almost daily in conversations between officers of this Consulate General and Japanese Consular officers.
Yesterday morning this Consulate General confirmed previous reports that a Japanese naval transport, understood to be the Shinyo Maru, will leave Shanghai for Hankow on January 21. It was further ascertained orally from the Japanese Consulate General that the Japanese authorities have arranged transportation on it for 2 British men, 1 of whom is a business man, 1 American employed by a British missionary organization (his application for a pass consequently was made by the local British Consulate General), 11 British ladies, 5 Italian naval officers, 1 Italian doctor, 1 White Russian, a French consular officer, 2 Italian, 2 French and 2 German ladies.
Notwithstanding the efforts of this Consulate General, the Japanese authorities have refused to arrange transportation on the transport for the four men whose applications for passes were made by this Consulate General. The Japanese Consulate General has not given this office any valid reason for the refusal. They have stated that there will be other transports and that they will try to arrange transportation but they refuse to make definite commitments at this time.
The refusal may be partly motivated by the fact that the four applicants in which this office is interested are businessmen. However, it appears that in this case the urgent applications of this Consulate General have been refused while passage has been arranged for other applications, some of whom have less urgent reasons for returning to Hankow.
It is suggested that representations in Tokyo may facilitate favorable action by the Japanese.
It might be added that, in general, this office has observed that since January 1, 1939 longer delays have occurred in the issuance of passes than was the case in November and December, and that in some instances passes have been refused without valid reasons.

Repeated to Peiping, Tokyo, and Hankow.

For the Consul General:
Butrick 74
  1. Same as telegram No. 305, of the same date, to the Counselor of Embassy in China at Peiping, Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. iv, p. 96.
  2. Richard P. Butrick, Consul at Shanghai.