811.5034 (China) American Radio Service/73: Telegram

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

Embassy’s 403, October 25, 3 p.m. to the Department.88 American Radio Service. With reference to Nichols’ intention to start suit against the Marshal of the Consular Court as cited in the penultimate paragraph of the telegram under reference, Nichols today orally informed me that although he is preparing to bring suit he will not do so until all means are exhausted for settling the matter amicably.

As one possible solution Nichols has suggested that he would be willing to turn over the seized equipment (but not the files) to the North China Telegraph Company for a nominal sum or even as a gift if the Japanese Consul General would return the equipment and files to the French Consul who in turn could deliver it to the custody of the American Consular Court for delivery to Nichols and Morrison. From this suggestion it seems that Nichols’ principal object, besides settlement of the case, is to protect his extraterritorial rights.

The acting Japanese Consul General, when informally discussing the solution suggested by Nichols, informed Vice Consul Yuni that the Japanese were not receptive to such a proposal but desired to keep the question “in status quo

It would appear that the entire American Radio Service question could be solved if the Japanese would admit the illegality of the seizure and return the property to this office, since Nichols has apparently decided not to engage in radio activities in the future without the approval of the Japanese authorities and is prepared to turn over the equipment to the North China Telegraph Company.

Sent to the Department, Peiping, repeated to Chungking; code text by air mail to Tokyo.

  1. Not printed.