393.115 Andersen Meyer and Co./9: Telegram

The Consul General at Shanghai (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

102. Reference Department’s 38, February 1, 7 p.m.82 regarding Japanese passes for Kiukiang for Andersen, Meyer and Company. The original application for passes for R. R. Rouse, American, and R. Tung, Chinese, were sent to the Japanese Consulate General by this office on December 22. Since then the matter has been followed up frequently and persistently without satisfactory result. The urgency of the matter from the point of view of obtaining insurance on the mill has repeatedly been stressed. We find the greatest difficulty in obtaining passes for American businessmen and their employees to go to Japanese occupied places for business purposes and this case is similar to a number of others. On February 2 before the receipt of the Department’s telegram No. 38, I discussed this case personally with the Japanese Consul General along with the cases of employees of American firms to go to Hankow and elsewhere. I complained most emphatically of the attitude of the Japanese military [Page 276] and naval authorities in refusing to permit the movement of American businessmen, for the protection of their property and business interests and pointed out frankly that this attitude served to confirm American interests in the belief that the Japanese Consulate, contrary to their repeated declarations of respect for foreign rights and interests, are deliberately placing obstacles in the way of foreign business interests with a view to undermining them.

Upon receipt of the Department’s telegram, the matter has again been taken up with the Japanese Consulate General and request made that the desired passes be issued or a precise reason be assigned for refusing them. The Japanese Consulate General tells us that the Japanese Navy refused the application on the 3d of January and the Japanese Consulate General has endeavored unsuccessfully since that time to change the Navy’s decision which as read to us in translation is as follows: “In order to safeguard the military secrets, the Navy cannot approve of the stationing of third party nationals and Chinese at the warehouse in question. Besides, there had been no watchmen there before the time the Navy leased that property. The Navy, however, has no objection to the stationing of a Japanese agent and a watchman.” Andersen, Meyer and Company is negotiating for the possible lease of the mill to Japanese interests, but whether or not the negotiations are successful the company wishes to have an American representative at the mill in order to obtain American insurance.

Having failed in our efforts to obtain the desired passes, I can only suggest that the Department may wish to instruct the Embassy at Tokyo to take up the matter with the Foreign Office.

Copies of the Department’s 38 and of this message are being sent to Tokyo by air mail and by mail to Peiping. Repeated to Hankow.

  1. Not printed.