Page images

any way intimating that you or your Government take it seriously, you impart to Hirota the suggestion that your Government would not be able to recognize or give countenance to any attempt on the part of any Japanese agencies to exercise jurisdiction over American nationals in China.


793.94/11916 : Telegram The Consul General at Shanghai (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

SHANGHAI, December 31, 1937—noon.

[Received December 31–9:30 a. m.] 1255. Reference my 1219, December 23, 9 p. m. regarding Wuhu incidents. Japanese Consul General writes me that he immediately ordered an officer to proceed from Nanking to Wuhu to investigate but due to shifts in military units it has not yet been possible to contact the military unit believed to have been involved. He is doing his best to contact the responsible unit. He adds that military authorities have issued instructions to the military unit now at Wuhu with a view to preventing recurrence of similar incidents in the future. Repeated to Hankow.


793.94/11913: Telegram
The Consul at Tsingtao (Sokobin) to the Secretary of State

TSINGTAO, December 31, 1937–3 p. m.

[Received December 31–9:30 a. m.] Situation in respect to possible danger to American lives and property from looters definitely easier at the moment. A group of Chinese, following explanation by Consular Corps of situation, have organized "Tsingtao Provisional Merchant Corps” which will draw up plans for police protection of Tsingtao.

My Consular colleagues are asking their Embassies to inform their Embassies at Tokyo that Japanese Government be apprised of the fact that Tsingtao is a defenseless city. Sent to Peiping, Hankow.



The Consul at Tsingtao in his telegram of January 1, 1938, 4 p. m., reported that "American residents in Tsingtao [are] annoyed by sensational American press reports which have completely distorted the picture of a situation which did not cause great alarm among Occidentals here none of whom has suffered any loss of property, as far as this Consulate is aware." (793.94/11928) 393.115 Ida Kahn Women's Hospital/8: Telegram

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

WASHINGTON, December 31, 1937–3 p. m. 388. Your 692, December 28, 6 p. m. In similar cases involving the bombing of American missionary property as a result of alleged "mistake” Japanese Government has stated in effect that it was prepared to give proper consideration with regard to the losses and damages inflicted on the American property involved. See your 612, December 10, 4 p. m., also your 570, November 27, 1 p. m. and 537, November 12, 9 p. m. and your 397, September 20, 10 p. m.71

The Department suggests that matter be taken up with the Foreign Office with a view to obtaining similar assurances in case of Ida Kahn Hospital.72


793.94/11921: Telegram The Third Secretary of Embassy in China (Allison) to the Secretary

of State

NANKING, December 31, 1937—6 p. m.

[Received December 31–5:20 p. m.] Arrived at Nanking 2:30 p. m. today, waterfront a shambles and [distant?] rifle fire heard while small fires were visible at various points in city.

In company with Captain of Oahu I [called on?] Commander of H. M. S. Bee, who had just returned from his first interview with the Japanese military authorities which took place on a Japanese naval vessel. [Informed?] by the British officer that no foreigners had been allowed to land at Nanking and that according to the representative of the Japanese Military Commander none would be allowed to land before January 5. Reason given is that “mopping up” operations are still in progress and that it is unsafe. British are making no attempt to land before January 6. A British [diplomatic?] official is expected to arrive at Nanking on H. M. S. Cricket January 5.

Oahu expects to leave early on morning of the 1st of January for Hoshien and Wuhu.

Sent to Hankow. Repeated to Department and Shanghai. Shanghai please repeat to Tokyo.


71 Telegram No. 397 not printed.

12 The Japanese Foreign Office thereupon gave "oral assurances that the question of indemnification for damages and losses in this case will be given equal consideration with that in other similar cases and that reference to the question of indemnification was inadvertently omitted from the Foreign Office's reply of December 22.” (393.115 Ida Kahn Women's Hospital/9)

793.94/11919 : Telegram T'he Consul General at Shanghai (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

SHANGHAI, December 31, 1937—(11 p. m.]

[Received December 31–3:20 p. m.] 1259. Following from the Ambassador:

December 31, 12 noon. Your December 30, 11 a. m. Will you communicate following to Japanese Ambassador as from me:

“My Dear Colleague: In view of recent unfortunate incidents growing out of the present hostilities being waged in the Yangtze Valley and with a view to the prevention of any similar situation developing should these hostilities be extended to include the Wuhan area in which the city of Hankow is located, I desire to bring to your attention the fact that the area covered by the former British, Russian and German Concessions and the present French Concession at Hankow, and including Butterfield and Swire's property adjoining the Customs House, includes the bulk of foreign owned and occupied property here at Hankow. In this area are located the Consulates of the foreign powers; in the river off this area are concentrated foreign naval vessels and foreign flag river shipping. In this area also will be found, not only most of the permanent American and foreign residents, but also many American and foreign refugees from other parts of China unable to leave or be concentrated at any other place.

It is my confident hope that in the unhappy event that military operations should extend to this area the military forces—land, naval and air-of your country would refrain from action which would jeopardize the lives and property in this area of Americans as well as of other foreigners. I am, my dear colleague,". Please repeat to Tokyo. Johnson.


793.94/11925 : Telegram

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

[ocr errors]

Tokyo, January 1, 1938—2 p. m.

[Received January 1, 1938–7:11 a. m.] 2. Tsingtao's December 21, 5 p. m.; Peiping's December 23, 11 a. m. [noon].33 My British colleague yesterday addressed a letter to the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs requesting that in the event of hostilities at Tsingtao, Edgewater Peninsula be regarded as a safety zone “subject to the understanding that Japanese responsibility to respect foreign lives and property outside such safety zone remains unimpaired”.

73 Latter not printed.


Copies of the British Ambassador's letter were sent to the French and the German Ambassador and to myself with the expressed hope that we may be prepared to support the British request.

Please instruct.74
Repeated to Peiping.



793.94/9343 : Telegram

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


NANKING, August 13, 1937–3 p. m.

[Received August 13--1:11 p. m.] 418. Second paragraph of Embassy's 415, August 13, 8 a. m.

1. U. S. S. T'utuila which left down river from Nanking yesterday reports today that according to a merchant vessel the obstruction in the river is at mileage 80 above Woosung and it is picketed by Chinese gunboat. The Tutuila indicated that it had received directions insuring safe passage and has been asked by naval superior to report further. Formal notification of the blocking of the river has been issued to foreign Diplomatic Missions by the Foreign Office; substance will be reported later.

2. According to Japanese Embassy, Japanese merchant vessel proceeding down river which left Nanking yesterday afternoon carrying Japanese consular officers from Hankow and other up river ports, has returned to Chinkiang because of the blocking of the river and request is being made of Chinese naval authorities to permit the ship to pass to Shanghai.

Sent to the Department, Peiping, Shanghai, Hankow. Tokyo being informed.


793.94/9340 : Telegram

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

NANKING, August 13, 1937—7 p. m.

[Received August 13–1:15 p. m.] 422. My 415, August 13, 8 a. m.,75 second paragraph, and 418, August 13, 3 p. m. The following is translation made by Embassy

3 of notification received from the Foreign Office date August 13. “I have the honor to inform you that in view of present compelling circumstances the Chinese Government has closed the Yangtze River below Chinkiang to navigation. All navigation on that section of the river is therefore suspended. I have the honor to indite this formal note for your information and to request that instructions be issued to American residents uniformally [sic] to take note”. 76

74 The Department's telegram No. 1, January 1, 1938, 2 p. m., authorized the Ambassador in Japan "to make representations similar to those made by the British Ambassador.” (793.94/11925)

75 Vol. II, p. 392.

Nanking station vessel has been informed.
Repeated to Peiping, Shanghai, Hankow.


793.94/9451 : Telegram The Commander in Chief of the United States Asiatic Fleet (Yarnell)

to the Chief of Naval Operations (Leahy)


[SHANGHAI,] August 17, 1937—10 p. m.

[Received August 17–2:25 p. m.] 0017. Problem of neutrality of Whangpoo River fronting the Settlement and its use by our vessels, naval and merchant, becoming serious. Japanese men-of-war occupy river from Garden Bend to lower limit and are engaged in bombardment of Chinese troop position on both sides of river at frequent intervals during day and night. Chinese have recently established batteries of medium caliber and machine guns on Pootung side which fire on Japanese vessels and Hongkew section in addition to their positions north of river. Chinese have established a junk boom at upper boundary of French Concession with small opening. All neutral men-of-war are up river from Garden Bend at naval buoys except Augusta which is at buoy 16–17. Intend to move Augusta up river off Bund just below British lower buoy. With the increase of Japanese and Chinese forces the river may become untenable to neutral men-of-war. Due to length of time necessary to evacuate nationals the situation may become very dangerous. It is considered of the utmost importance that strong representations be made by all the neutral interested powers to the belligerents to respect the neutrality of the river within the limits of the Settlement and to make it possible for these powers to have access to their nationals and to remove them from the area without incurring all the dangers of active war operations.

On August 27 the Chinese Foreign Office replied to the American Embassy's inquiry of August 25 that the Yangtze would remain closed for the present to all shipping (811.30 Asiatic Fleet/336).

" Copy transmitted to the Department by the Navy Department.

« PreviousContinue »