793.94/16750: Telegram

The Consul at Foochow (Rice) to the Secretary of State

Reference is made to my telegram dated July 16, 11 a.m.49 Yesterday during an interview with Colonel Ikuta, head of the Japanese Army special service section at Foochow, I referred to the proclamation which was the subject of my telegram under reference, stated that several Americans were en route to Foochow from the interior and asked what treatment the Japanese proposed to accord to foreigners who might be encountered attempting to pass through the Japanese lines. Colonel Ikuta replied that in the absence of prior arrangements they should not be permitted to proceed and stated that he would like in specific cases to be given the names of the persons and a statement of the place and date of their proposed passage through the lines. I told him that because of inadequate communication facilities and other considerations, this might not always be possible, that the Japanese authorities would be held responsible for the lives [Page 885] of Americans coming into areas under their control and that I should appreciate his arranging to have orders issued which would ensure their safety. He agreed to do so.

Sent to Peiping. Repeated to the Department, Chungking, Shanghai and Amoy. Peiping please repeat to Tokyo.

  1. Not printed; it contained the following paragraph: “Yesterday there was published by the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Army in Foochow a proclamation prohibiting after July 20 both travel of persons and transport of goods across a line connecting certain named points and enclosing what at present comprises the occupied portion of this consular district. It was proclaimed that persons violating this prohibition will be executed and their goods confiscated.” (793.94/16743)