893.111/488: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan ( Grew ) to the Secretary of State

1064. Embassy’s 963, July 9, 8 a.m., North China restrictions. The Foreign Office yesterday handed a member of my staff a statement of which the following is a summary:

In order to minimize inconvenience to travellers, Japanese military and other authorities in North China have given consideration enforcing the regulations as smoothly as possible, and to facilitate their administration the following measures are now being taken: (1) The time required to obtain permits has been decreased to 3 days; (2) permits for short journeys are now issued valid for 3 or 4 months; (3) permits are not necessary for persons travelling direct to Peiping or Tientsin from Manchukuo, Japan, or Central China, by rail, sea, or air; (4) diplomats and similar officials receive travel certificates; (5) officers and men in uniform travel freely without permits while on duty as provided by the Boxer Protocol; if in civilian clothes they are treated similarly to diplomats.

It will be noted that no attempt is made to reply to the American contention that the Japanese authorities have no right to control the movements of American nationals in China; nor is any attempt made to defend the necessity for issuing new regulations at this time. When these omissions were pointed out, an official of the Foreign Office stated that, Japan was engaged in hostilities in China, the occupied areas were under military control and therefore it was natural for travel therein to be restricted or controlled. He said that doubtless there were restrictions in Great Britain, France and Germany. In reply he was informed that formal declarations of war had been received in Europe, which changed matters considerably. This argument was characterized as “legalistic”.

Sent to the Department via Peiping. Peiping please repeat to Tientsin, Shanghai, Chungking.