693.002/802: Telegram

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

2. Your 3, January 2, noon, Canton customs. In view of the information contained in Canton’s 80, December 13, 6 p.m.,34 which Shanghai was requested to repeat to you, the Department has not felt inclined to reiterate its position as outlined in your note of November 24, 1938, to the Japanese Foreign Office.35

If, however, after consultation with your British and French colleagues, you and they feel that rejoinders at this time would be likely to serve a useful purpose, the Department authorizes you in your discretion to make a separate informal approach along the general lines of your note of November 24, 1938, avoiding, however, any reference to “the international status” of the Chinese Maritime Customs. The Department suggests that in any approach that the Embassy may make an endeavor be made to avert publicity.

Repeated to Chungking, Peiping, and Canton.