800.515/9–745: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Hurley) to the Secretary of State

1537. Following is substance of note received from Foreign Office under date September 3:

China has suffered very large losses since September 18, 1931, incident because of Japanese aggression. Chinese Government has decided, [Page 992] with view to satisfying part of such losses, to confiscate all Japanese enterprises operated in China, as well as all Japanese property, public and private, in China.

United States Government is requested to extend its support and, prior to taking over of such Japanese property by Chinese Government, it is requested that United States forces stationed in liberated areas in China be instructed temporarily to give protection to such Japanese property, private or public, as well as Japanese operated commercial enterprises, workshops, plants, communication lines, mines, telecommunications, and all other resources, in order to make sure that none of the properties are removed, concealed or destroyed by Japanese.

Foregoing has been communicated by Chinese Government to Soviet Government with request that Soviet military in liberated areas be informed thereof. (End note)

Embassy has transmitted copy of Foreign Office note as well as substance of Department’s 1350, August 28,42 to General Wedemeyer43 for his information.

We would appreciate prompt instructions from Department. Department’s 1350, August 28, which was received at about same time as Foreign Office note and which has been communicated to Foreign Office, would seem to require clarification in view of Foreign Office note in question.

  1. See last paragraph of telegram 1923, August 28, 6 p.m., to Moscow, supra.
  2. Lt. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, Commanding General, U.S. Forces in China Theater and concurrently Chief of Staff, China Theater.