124.932/553: Telegram

The Third Secretary of Embassy in China ( Allison ) to the Secretary of State

11. My 5 [7], January 6, 5 p.m. and 6 [8], January 7, 4 p.m. The Ambassador’s motor car was returned in good condition late yesterday afternoon and shortly afterwards Acting Consul General Fukui came to the Embassy and presented 160 gallons of gasoline which he stated was in partial compensation for the three Embassy cars “borrowed” by the Japanese Embassy. In view of the difficulty of obtaining gasoline supplies, I accepted this contribution but stated that the final settlement of the matter would have to be discussed at a later date.

Further investigation of damage to American property, other than Embassy, disclosed that the main building of the Methodist Episcopal Mission North on Shenchoulu was gutted by fire, reputedly of Japanese origin, a few days after the fall of Nanking. Other pieces of American property damaged, belonged to United Christian Mission where two buildings of boys’ school were burned and to American Church Mission where parish house was hit by shell fire.

Texas Company installation on December 30 and January 4 entered by Japanese soldiers, the American flag torn down, burnt and practically all stocks removed as well as personal belongings of employees. Buildings intact. Standard Oil Company installation and residence buildings intact though partially looted. American residents have reported numerous cases of Japanese soldiers tearing down and mutilating American flags and showing complete disregard for measures of American or Japanese Embassy proclamation setting forth the American nature of the property concerned. American property located in the so-called “safety zone” generally undamaged except for sporadic looting and pilfering.

I have made several oral and informal protests to the Japanese Embassy and have informed them that after I have an opportunity to make full investigations I deem it advisable to take up these various matters officially.

In sharp contrast to the reported action of Japanese soldiers before our arrival the attitude of all Japanese officials both civil and military [Page 228] has so far been most courteous and helpful in affording our staff facilities for carrying on our work.

An inspection of the central business section of Nanking showed widespread destruction, nearly every shop and building on the main streets having been looted and most of them burned. The great majority of this destruction is supposed to have taken place after the Japanese entered the City. Our water supply has again been cut off and there is still no electricity.

Sent to Embassy [at] Hankow. Repeated to Shanghai.

Allison