811.5034 (China) American Radio Service/64: Telegram

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

361. 1. Tientsin’s October 4, 11 p.m. to Peiping repeated to the Department.83 Agreeing with Fletcher’s belief that the seized equipment is American property, the Embassy respectfully recommends that he should proceed to take action in accordance with Peiping’s 349, October 1, 11 a.m. and the Department’s 159, October 2, 6 p.m. to Peiping. Fletcher suggests, however, that in his representations to the Japanese Consul General Fletcher should state that the seized equipment is the property of Messrs. Nichols, Morrison and Young, all American citizens, rather than that it is the property of the American Radio Service and [as?] the registration of that firm was authorized [canceled?] in the Department’s 129, August 14, 7 p.m. to Peiping.

2. Reference Tientsin’s October 3, 3 p.m. to Peiping repeated to Department.83 The Embassy believes no useful purpose would be served by Fletcher’s making representations to the Japanese Consul General in regard to false press reports of Nichols’ arrest. The Embassy also believes that Fletcher need not use his good offices to arrange an interview for Nichols with the Japanese authorities in regard to the four numbered points of the first paragraph of the telegram under reference as they all appear to be concerned with the American Radio Service as an “enterprise”.

3. Reference last substantive paragraph of Tientsin’s October 4, 11 p.m. to Peiping. The Embassy feels strongly that Nichols and his partners should be frankly informed that their radio activities and their stubborn refusal to cooperate in the expressed wishes of the Department are now embarrassing the American authorities and that such activities if continued cannot but have a detrimental effect on American interests in general in Tientsin. In this connection it will be recalled that the Department suggested in its 129, August 14, 7 p.m. to Peiping that Fletcher should point out to Nichols the obvious dangers and difficulties which were to be anticipated if he should go [Page 926] forward with his proposal to operate a radio station in territory under Japanese military control. In the opinion of this Embassy the French Concession at Tientsin is now for all practical purposes under Japanese military control.

4. The Department’s instructions will be appreciated.

Sent to the Department. Repeated to Chungking, Tokyo.

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