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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919

Japan,   pp. 415-463 PDF (17.1 MB)

Page 416

mation of the marriage ceremony within the jurisdiction of our laws "
is now under investigation by the Solicitors. In the meantime Senator
Phelan4 has introduced in the Senate an amendment to the present
Immigration Law5 to exclude absolutely Japanese of the laboring
class, thus substituting an Act of Congress in place of the arrange-
ment with the Japanese Government.
The main objection to the present arrangement, according to letters
from Senator Phelan, lies in the admission of the " picture brides ".
The very large increase in the number of these women now coming to
the United States, as shown by statistics, leads to the conclusion,
which however cannot yet be proved, that some at least are coming as
the wives of the children of Japanese laborers who were here prior to
the going into effect of the "Gentlemen's Agreement " in 1908.
the continued immigration of these women is permitted, the number
of Japanese of the laboring class resident in the United States
might easily increase very nearly in geometrical ratio.
It would seem probable, therefore, that, if this objection were re-
moved voluntarily by the Japanese Government, the matter might
not be pursued further in Congress.
711.94/306: Telegram
The Ambassador in Japan (Morris) to the Secretary of State
TOKYO, November 19, 1919, 7 p.m.
[Received November 20, 10.50 a.m.]
The report received yesterday that the Senate voted in favor of
reservation in regard to Shantung, while not unexpected, has added to
the irritation and resentment here.6 The newspaper comments which
have appeared thus far are reserved but there is a notable growth of
a spirit of answers [antagonismn?] to America and Americans. The
newspaper campaign which has continued with slight interruptions
for almost a year is beginning to tell and I am receiving reports
from various parts of Japan of actions toward Americans which
indicate that popular feeling is running strongly against the United
States. It appears to me quite clear that the military party is using
the United States as the future menace, not sincerely but as a justifica-
tion for increased army and navy appropriations. For the moment
I do not consider the situation serious but if Governor Stephens
should be forced by public opinion to convene the California Legis-
lature in special session, it would at once assume a very serious aspect.
'James D. Phelan, United States Senator from California.
5Act of Feb. 5, 1917 (39 Stat. 874).
See the section, under China, dealing with the Shantung question, vol. i,
pp. 686 if.

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