811.5034 (China) American Radio Service/52: Telegram

The Consul at Tientsin (Fletcher) to the Secretary of State

American Radio Service. Acting judicially upon information furnished me by Major Anjo of the Japanese gendarmerie and Mr. Martel of the French municipal police, I today issued a warrant of search to the special officer of the Consular Court at Tientsin (Mr. Kushner) to enter the premises of Andersen, Meyer and Company, an American company, in the French Concession with the necessary assistance of the French municipal police to search for radio apparatus for receiving and transmitting messages allegedly installed and operated there in contravention of the police regulations of the French municipality.

When the search was made two transmitting units, three receiving units and auxiliary equipment were found. Messrs. Nichols and Morrison of the American Radio Service were present and admitted that the equipment belonged to them.

[Page 921]

The Japanese would not allow Kushner to bring the sets to this Consulate General or permit him to seal the room. It was then suggested that the French municipal police take custody of the equipment but they demurred whereupon the Japanese demanded that it be turned over to them.

At 5 o’clock this afternoon my French colleague informed me that due to pressure from the Japanese he had no alternative than to instruct the police to seize the equipment and files.

When the seizure was being made, the special officer of the court orally protested the action and Morrison and Nichols stated to the special officer of the court that they would hold the Consular Court liable for the property and would look to it to effect its recovery.

In view of the Department’s telegram number 129, August 14, 7 p.m., stating that “this Government will not be in a position to accord the enterprise (American Radio Service) hereafter diplomatic protection or the good offices of the Tientsin Consul General”, the Embassy’s instructions are requested.

Sent to Peiping. Repeated to the Department and to Chungking.