393.1115/3980: Telegram

The Consul General at Hankow (Josselyn) to the Secretary of State

2. Following telegram has been received from American Consul General at Shanghai:

“January 4, 5 p.m. Several American ladies have applied to this office for assistance in obtaining Japanese passage and arranging for their return to Hankow. I understand that Mrs. Jarvis will arrive here with her husband64 and presumably wishes to accompany him to Hankow. Please inform me on every [of your?] opinion on the question of American ladies returning to Hankow at present.”

I request information whether Department’s instructions regarding withdrawal of Americans from this area contained in the Department’s telegram number 178, August 25, 7 p.m., 1937 to the Embassy [at] Nanking,65 and similar instructions, have been modified.

While present conditions at Hankow are peaceful there are numerous restrictions and inconveniences in effect here and living conditions are abnormal and unpleasant. There is also the possibility that the Japanese may increase these restrictions in retaliation as a result of the American Government’s attitude expressed in the note to the Japanese Foreign Office made public on December 31.66 However there has been no intimation that such retaliatory measures might be taken.

Our opinion is that generally speaking I do not favor the return of American women and children to Hankow at the present time. I see no objection to the return of men for [if] business or other interests demand their presence here.

Repeated to Chungking, Shanghai.

  1. Robert Y. Jarvis, Consul at Hankow.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1937, vol. iv, p. 282.
  3. Note No. 1153, December 30, 1938, Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. i, p. 820.