893.102S/1763: Telegram

The Chargé in China ( Peck ) to the Secretary of State

222. Embassy’s 379, July 27, 5 p.m., 1938, from Hankow.31 Note dated March 23 from the Chinese Foreign Office reads as follows (Embassy’s translation):

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents its compliments to the American Embassy and has the honor to state that it has received a reliable report to the effect that Japanese plain clothes units continuously and freely searched and arrested residents within the International Settlement at Shanghai on March 7, 8 and 9. On occasion they did not act in conjunction with the municipal police magistrate or when acting in conjunction with the municipal police magistrate they failed to find any anti-Japanese documents. Nevertheless, the persons so apprehended were delivered over and escorted away by the Japanese military authorities.

The Ministry has the honor to recall that, owing to the previous handing over by the Municipal Council of the International Settlement at Shanghai of a so-called Chinese terrorist to the Japanese military authorities in Hongkew, the Ministry considered this as contrary to the Shanghai Court agreement32 and not in conformity with the principle of justice in law, and lodged a protest with the American [Page 22] Embassy on July 28, 1938, requesting that the said Chinese be returned for disposition in accordance with law and that there should be no recurrence of similar incidents in the future. The Embassy did not regard this protest in a serious light, with the result that further acts of illegal arrest of persons in the International Settlement at Shanghai occurred in great numbers. The Chinese Government cannot but regard this as regrettable, and for this reason specially protests again to the American Embassy. It is earnestly hoped that the Embassy will notify the Settlement authorities to pay additional attention to incidents of this sort, to take prompt steps to end them, and to bring about the return of Chinese citizens already delivered over to the Japanese military authorities and the handling of their cases in accordance with law, in order to emphasize authority and maintain order.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the honor, et cetera.”

Repeated to Peiping, Shanghai.