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to get a favorable decision as he understood the need for early action. He wound up the conversation by saying "it won't take long", by that I understand he means about September 1st.*

2. In view of these conversations I have not presented the note referred to in my letter and the Department's telegram."


800.79611 Pangborn-Herndon Flight/148

The American Ambassador in Japan (Forbes) to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Shidehara)®

No. 140

TOKYO, September 1, 1931. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to refer to my Note No. 124, of August 17, 1931, in which I requested, by direction of my Government, permission for Messrs. Pangborn and Herndon to fly from Japanese territory in an effort to cross the Pacific by air. Since the delivery of the note in question, I have had the honor of speaking to Your Excellency directly on the question, and the staff of the Embassy have also had informal discussions with members of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

If I understand the situation correctly, there is some opposition to permitting this flight. I need not here repeat the oral arguments with which the granting of the permit has been urged further than to assure Your Excellency that it would produce a very favorable impression in the United States.

I avail myself [etc.]


800.79611 Pangborn-Herndon Flight/124 : Telegram

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

TOKYO, September 11, 1931-6 p. m. [Received September 11-8:30 a. m.]

141. Foreign Office stated informally today that Pangborn-Herndon permit would be issued but the Japanese Government would prefer if at all possible that the flight be postponed until further notice. They state that postponement would help them out of a [predicament?] as the opposition would die down by then and anyway the weather would be more favorable. They have assured the Embassy that every effort

'The airplane was released September 2, 1931.

• Neither printed.

Copy transmitted to the Department by the Chargé in Japan in his despatch No. 334, September 25; received October 10.

'Not printed.

would be made to smooth the way for the flight in the spring and that there would be no difficulties.

The fliers have been [consulted?] but they object decidedly to postponement. I suggest that the Department consult supporters of the flight as I shall have to address the Foreign Minister further on this subject if the flight is to be attempted this year and I should prefer to do so by instruction, much as I should like to get the men out of Japan permanently at an early date.


800.79611 Pangborn-Herndon Flight/132: Telegram

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

WASHINGTON, September 14, 1931—noon.

162. Your 142, September 12, 6 p. m., and 141, September 11, 6 p. m. Department has again conferred with supporters of flight and mother of Herndon. These regard early issuance of permit desirable. Department, giving solicitous consideration to points advanced in first paragraph of your 141, nevertheless believes that early issuance of permit would have greater advantages, taking into consideration all interests involved, than would deferred issuance. Department therefore authorizes and requests that, at your discretion as to moment and phraseology, and either on your own authority or on that of your Government, you present the further note for which the Foreign Office has asked requesting early issue of the permit.


800.79611 Pangborn-Herndon Flight/148

The American Ambassador in Japan (Forbes) to the Japanese
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Shidehara)o

No. 146
TOKYO, September 14, 1931.
EXCELLENCY: I fully realize the difficulties which confront the
Japanese Government in granting permission for the proposed flight
of Messrs. Pangborn and Herndon.

It is, however, the desire of my Government that permission be granted to these two aviators, and in view of the fact that Messrs. Pangborn and Herndon are desirous of being the first to accomplish a trans-Pacific non-stop flight, may I express the hope that they be given the desired permit as an exceptional measure which will not

Not printed.

Copy transmitted to the Department by the Chargé in Japan in his despatch No. 334, September 25; received October 10.

set up any precedent for the future. Such flight, if accomplished, would be epoch-making and would serve in the promotion and development of international air navigation.

I repeat the assurance made previously that the Embassy will do all in its power to prevent in future any infraction of law such as that which occurred during the flight of these two aviators from Habarovsk to Tokyo last August.

I avail myself [etc.]

For the Ambassador:

800.79611 Pangborn-Herndon Flight/133: Telegram

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

TOKYO, September 15, 1931-noon. [Received September 15-2:27 a. m.]

145. Referring to your telegram No. 162 of September 14, noon, I had a long personal conference with Herndon-Pangborn this morning reviewing efforts made by the Embassy on their behalf. Although friendly I was very definite and did not mince words in expressing disapproval of such of their activities as have been unwise and unfair. Herndon expressed himself much enlightened. I made an appeal to their better citizenship to use every effort to allay any resentment against Japan incidental to their visit here. I have sent letter to the Foreign Office "expressing the hope" that the permit be granted but avoided stating it as a request of the Government. They replied by telephone asking influence to be used to postpone the flight until spring. This request I gave verbally to Herndon-Pangborn requesting a reply in writing, which has come in, insisting that they are not in a position to delay and requesting permit for immediate flying, which we are given to believe will be granted shortly. FORBES

800.79611 Pangborn-Herndon Flight/135: Telegram

The Chargé in Japan (Neville) to the Secretary of State

TOYко, September 19, 1931-6 p. m. [Received September 19-6: 23 a. m.]

154. Foreign Office has just informed me orally that the permit for Pangborn and Herndon has been granted.10


10 This was confirmed by the Japanese Foreign Office's note No. 105/E2, September 21, 1931, copy of which was transmitted to the Department by the Chargé in Japan in his despatch No. 334, September 25; received October 10 (800.79611 Pangborn-Herndon Flight/148).

800.79611 Pangborn-Herndon Flight/143: Telegram

The Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Shidehara) to the
Secretary of State

TOYKO, [October 6, 1931?] [Received October 6-4: 17 a. m.]

Now that the ocean between us has been bridged by one continuous flight, accept my warm congratulations on the event and on the intrepidity, skill and patience which have enabled Messrs. Pangborn and Herndon to achieve this memorable result which will always remain a landmark in the history of aviation.




Memorandum by Mr. Ransford S. Miller of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs

[WASHINGTON,] June 19, 1931. Mr. Midzusawa, of the Japanese Embassy, called at the Department on June 15 and again on June 17 to talk over informally with Mr. Cumming and Mr. Miller some of the difficulties relating to the admission of treaty (trade) Japanese subjects.


Mr. Midzusawa exhibited, at the first interview on June 15, a considerable number of clippings taken from a Japanese newspaper published in Japanese in San Francisco, in which the Ambassador and the Embassy were severely criticized for neglecting to protect the rights of Japanese subjects in the matter of immigration, and copies in full of discussions of the same subject in the late session of the Japanese Diet. Mr. Midzusawa intimated that the Embassy did not take these criticisms too seriously but at the same time it was a matter which could not be ignored, especially in view of the interest being taken in the matter by the Japanese Diet. He stated further that the Japanese residing on the west coast did not fail to take advantage of any opportunity presented by the visit of any member of the Diet to state their grievances and to enlist the aid of such members.

Mr. Midzusawa then reviewed provisions of the Treaty of 1911 3 which gave to Japanese subjects the right to "enter and reside in the territories of the other to carry on trade", and to the provisions of the

For previous correspondence on the admission of Japanese, see Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. II, pp. 333 ff., and ibid., 1930, vol. ш, pp. 315 ff.

Hugh S. Cumming, Jr., of the Visa Division.

'Foreign Relations, 1911, p. 315.


Immigration Act of 1924 which (Section 3 (6)) gave effect to the above Treaty provision. He then referred to the decision in the Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, (California) relating to the Kumanomido case in which the meaning of the word "trade" was given a very liberal interpretation. It appeared to Mr. Midzusa wa therefore that the Consular Regulations which limit the application of Section 3 (6) of the Act of 1924 to such aliens as were engaged in international trade were inconsistent with the terms of the Treaty as interpreted by the above Court decision.

Mr. Midzusawa stated that this condition of affairs was bearing hardly upon a number of Japanese merchants who came to the United States prior to 1924 and were now engaged in local trade on the west coast, a number of whom were separated from their wives and children who had either remained in, or had returned to, Japan for family reasons. Mr. Midzusawa contrasted the treatment which was being given to Japanese merchants of this class with the treatment which he understood was being accorded to Chinese merchants under very similar conditions; and he felt that, in view of the Court's decision in the Kumanomido case with respect to the meaning of the Treaty, the Japanese merchants in question were not only being hardly treated but were also being discriminated against. He also referred to the obvious discrimination in this respect under the "Bingham Bill" which specifically entitled Chinese merchants, born in the United States, to have their wives join them in the United States.

It was pointed out to Mr. Midzusawa that in the interpretation of the Treaty provision to which he had referred the force of the preamble to that Treaty,-from which it appeared that the Treaty related to "the rules which are hereafter to govern the commercial intercourse between their respective countries"-, should not be overlooked; that with regard to the Kumanomido decision the Department did not consider that this decision was conclusive, in that it did not definitely decide the interpretation of the term "trade"; that the facts in that case were not favorable to a clear decision on this point and that, moreover, being the decision only of a Circuit Court, it was not generally applicable as would be a decision of the Supreme Court.

With reference to the treatment being accorded Chinese merchants, some of the statements advanced by Mr. Midzusawa were questioned as differing from the facts as known to the Department; he was told, moreover, that the procedure with respect to Chinese merchants was based upon a series of court decisions relating to the provisions of our treaties with China, and that, therefore, the procedure adopted in regard to Chinese merchants might naturally differ in certain respects

Approved May 26, 1924; 43 Stat. 153.

"Shizuko Kumanomido v. Nagle, April 7, 1930, 40 F. (2d) 42.

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