893.102 Tientsin/229: Telegram

The Consul General at Tientsin (Caldwell) to the Secretary of State

43. My telegram No. 228, December 13, 8 p.m.,45 Department’s 110, December 15, 4 p.m.,46 and my 230, December 16, 5 p.m.44

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In reply to my inquiry as to correctness of press reports of imminent reimposition by the Japanese military of control of persons at Concession boundaries the Japanese Consul General has informed me that:

“The date when these measures will be enforced depends on the activities of the anti-Japanese and communistic elements in the different Concessions.

Anticipating the beginning of these control measures at some time, however, and in order to avoid causing possible inconvenience and delay to third power nationals when they are begun, the military authorities are issuing passes to all responsible third power nationals to allow them to pass the barriers without close scrutiny.

I would ask you, therefore, to let me have by the end of this month the number of Americans residing in Tientsin and approximately how many passes will be needed.”

Although previously passports and identification cards issued by the authorities of the nationals concerned have been accepted by the Japanese military, it appears that it is now their intention to honor only documents issued by themselves.

Please telegraph whether objection is perceived to my requesting from the Japanese military passes for American citizens, or whether it is desired that I insist on the use by American citizens of documents issued by the officials of their own government, possibly with the addition of some sort of visa from the Japanese military authorities.

Repeated to Peiping, Chungking.