The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Hankow (Josselyn)
8. Your 18, January 17, 5 p.m. The Department is of the opinion that it would be preferable for the Consulate General not to apply to the Japanese authorities for permits on behalf of American firms in connection with the operation of their vessels in Hankow harbor. It is suggested that you inform the concerned American firms, if you are approached by them, that while the American authorities are [Page 776]prepared to render them all practicable assistance with regard to the protection of their rights and interests and the conduct of their businesses, the question of meeting the Japanese requirement is one for decision by them, on the basis of a realistic view of the situation, as the directly concerned parties.