811.5034 (China); American Radio Service/41: Telegram

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

129. Peiping’s August 1, 4 p.m., to Tientsin; Tientsin’s 146, August 6, 10 a.m.; and Chungking’s 384, August 6, 11 a.m.,71 America Radio Service at Tientsin.

1. Having in mind (a) the conditions, as set forth in the Department’s 237, October 19, 7 p.m., to Peiping,72 under which provisional registration was granted the American Radio Service; (b) the decision of the British municipal authorities at Tientsin, as indicated in Peiping’s August 1, 4 p.m., to Tientsin, that the station must cease operation in the British municipal area on August 20; and (c) the obvious impracticability of Mr. Nichols’ proposal to set up and operate the station in territory over which the permit-issuing authority does not exercise control and which is in fact under the military control of authorities who are understood to oppose the operation of the station, the Department feels that there is no longer any warrant for according the enterprise the protection or good offices of this Government and the provisional registration is accordingly hereby cancelled pursuant to the considerations mentioned in subsection (e) of the Department’s 237, October 19, 7 p.m.73

The Department desires that the Consul at Tientsin74 inform Mr. Nichols in writing that the provisional registration of the American Radio Service has been cancelled and orally advise Mr. Nichols that, should he proceed to carry into effect his plan of operating the station in territory under Japanese military control, this Government would not be in position to intervene with the Japanese authorities on behalf of his enterprise. The Department also suggests that Fletcher orally point out to Mr. Nichols the obvious dangers and difficulties which are to be anticipated if he should go forward with his proposal.

2. With reference to the message from the Tientsin American Chamber of Commerce contained in Tientsin’s 146, August 6, 10 a.m.,72 the Department desires that the Consul at Tientsin orally (1) inform the Chamber that the Department has received the message and has given [Page 919] careful consideration thereto; (2) communicate to the Chamber an outline of the Department’s position as indicated in the pertinent portions of the Department’s telegraphic instructions no. 6, January 22, 3 p.m., 1938, to Tientsin75 and no. 237, October 19, 7 p.m., and no. 47, March 26, 4 p.m., to Peiping; and (3) advise the Chamber that, in the light of all the circumstances, the Department has now found it necessary to cancel the registration of the American Radio Service as an American enterprise and that this Government will not be in a position to accord the enterprise hereafter diplomatic protection or the good offices of the Tientsin Consul General.

Sent to Peiping. Repeated to Chungking and Tientsin.

  1. None printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Subsection (e) stated that “if developments indicate that the continued operation of the station as an American enterprise would, under the conditions prevailing in North China, be detrimental to American interests generally, this Government may feel called upon to cancel the registration of the American Radio Service without advance notice of its intention to do so.” (811.5034 China American Radio Service/2)
  4. Samuel J. Fletcher.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Foreign Relations, 1938, Vol. iv, p. 247.