393.115/542: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Counselor of Embassy in China (Lockhart) at Peiping

3. 1. Tokyo has informed the Department that the British Ambassador has been instructed to make representations against interference by the Japanese with the British garrison at Tientsin and with the conduct of business by the British community and has referred the question of this Government’s taking similar action to the Department.

2. Please forward the following to Tokyo as No. 1 from the Department:

“Your 1, January 1, 10 a.m. Department assumes that you have received or will soon receive the code text of Peiping’s 741, December [Page 164] 23, 5 p.m.38 forwarded to you by mail. The Department is requesting that Peiping obtain from Tientsin and send to you by cable any additional information obtainable in regard to the situation at Tientsin. You are authorized, in your discretion and contingent upon your British and French colleagues taking similar action, to make an approach to the Japanese Foreign Office, basing such approach on the extensive American personal and business interests in Tientsin and the unfavorable effect of Japanese restrictions upon those interests. You should avoid any reference to the foreign concessions or to the American marine detachment at Tientsin. The Department suggests that your approach, if made, be informal and that publicity be avoided.39 Please keep the Department and Peiping informed.”

3. Please obtain from Tientsin and forward to Tokyo by cable as soon as practicable any additional information and facts in regard to the situation under reference.

  1. Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. iv, p. 108.
  2. The Ambassador in Japan reported in telegram No. 69, February 6, that he had taken action in accordance with the Department’s instruction (393.415/33).