The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)
Washington, January 19, 1939—9 p.m.
17. Your 22, January 13, 2 p.m., Chinese Maritime Customs.
- The Department approves the manner of approach proposed by you and suggests that you inform the Japanese Foreign Office that the reply of the Japanese Government is not responsive to your representations of November 24 in that the basis upon which the Japanese Government declined to accept your representations does not give consideration to the issues involved, that is, the preservation of the integrity of the customs and respect for American and other foreign interests therein.
- Although the official commitments of the Chinese Government to certain other governments in regard to the Chinese Maritime Customs do to some extent condition and limit the action of the former in the administration of the Maritime Customs, the Department feels that, in the light of this Government’s concept of the Chinese Maritime Customs, use by this Government of the phrase “international status” as descriptive of that customs service should for technical and for tactical reasons be avoided. The Department suggests that the phrase “international interest in” or “American interest in” might be employed in the approach which you have in mind.