393.11/2168: Telegram

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

356. During the past few days a large number of Americans here have expressed to the Embassy their serious apprehension over their welfare and safety due to recent international developments, particularly the deterioration in American-Japanese relations. In addition Americans have been perturbed by press reports that Admiral Hart93 has been conferring with American authorities at Shanghai in regard to possible evacuation of Americans from China. (This apprehension is no doubt shared by many Americans elsewhere in the Japanese occupied areas of China.) Americans here have expressed the hope that if any measures are contemplated by the American Government which might arouse unfavorable feeling among the Japanese they would like, if possible, some notice by the American authorities in order that they may be able to evacuate.

The Embassy has informed these Americans that while of course no definite assurances could be given that American citizens would receive prior notice of measures by the American Government the State Department and other American authorities were no doubt giving full consideration to all phases of the situation in the Far East, including the safety and welfare of American citizens.

Sent to the Department, repeated to Chungking, Shanghai; code text by airmail to Tokyo.

  1. Adm. Thomas C. Hart, Commander in Chief of United States Asiatic Fleet.