893.74/1026: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the First Secretary of Embassy in China (Smyth), at Peiping

135. Tientsin’s 150, August 14, 6 p.m. to Department and August 26, 6 p.m. to Peiping.76 If Creamer77 is still under surveillance by Japanese agents, the Department desires that the American Consul at Tientsin inform the Japanese Consulate General in writing that he has been instructed by his Government to file a formal protest against the action of the Japanese and to demand the immediate cessation of their illegal interference with an American citizen. Fletcher should also inform the Japanese Consulate General that this Government does not recognize any right which may be asserted by Japanese authorities to apprehend or question an American citizen as “suspect” and that any proceedings against an American citizen in China must be undertaken in the appropriate American consular court and in pursuance of American laws applicable to American citizens in China.

If the Japanese authorities should request the prosecution of Creamer for the alleged operation of a radio on his premises, Fletcher should inform those authorities that there would not seem to be any applicable American law under which Creamer could be prosecuted in this instance and that while this Government is prepared to discourage any action by citizens of the United States which might be properly objectionable to any other government, although such action may not be specifically prohibited by American law, the Government of the United States does not recognize the right of Japanese authorities [Page 920] to subject American citizens in China to Japanese regulation in that country.

Sent to Peiping. Repeated to Tientsin, Chungking. Peiping please repeat to Tokyo.

  1. Neither printed.
  2. Lloyd G. Creamer, an American citizen at Tientsin.