811.5034 (China) American Radio Service/16: Telegram

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

91. Peiping’s 65, February 26, 1 p.m.,61 American Radio Service.

Tientsin reports in despatch No. 1014 of March 2061 that, at the request of British Consul General, Nichols of American Radio Service called on March 19 on British Consul General and was informed that on account of an agreement reached by the Japanese and [Page 915] British Governments the American Radio Service will shortly be compelled to cease operations in the British Concession at Tientsin63 but that the Japanese controlled Telegraph Administration would be prepared to purchase the station. Nichols replied that the station is not for sale and that if it is closed it will have to be taken by force. Nichols reports that radios operated by British shipping companies in the British Concession for communication with their steamers and branch offices are apparently to be permitted to continue operation and he considers [this?] to be discrimination in favor of British against American interests.
Nichols has requested Caldwell to ask the British Consul General to inform the American Consul General in writing of British Consul General’s statements to Nichols which Nichols intends to use as a basis for a protest against the proposed British action. Caldwell replied that he desired to ask for instructions in the premises. The Consulate General’s despatch requests information regarding the Department’s decision on the application of the American Radio Service for registration. A statement of the Department’s attitude on the principles involved would also be helpful to the Consulate General.
Nichols, notwithstanding his contention in the matter, has agreed to meet today representatives of the Telegraph Administration in order to ascertain their attitude and proposals. He informed Caldwell that although at one time his station had a large amount of foreign business it now has very little outgoing business because of recently increased rates whereas Telegraph Administration has not increased rates. The station, however, has a considerable volume of incoming foreign messages and a large traffic with Shanghai.
On the basis of information before it, Embassy sees no objection to Caldwell asking his British colleague for the information referred to in paragraphs 2 above.

Sent to Department only.

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  3. For further correspondence regarding Japanese pressure against the British at Tientsin, see pp. 840 ff.