The Minister in China (Reinsch) to the Acting Secretary of State
[Received June 10, 9.35 a.m.]
Situation in Shanghai growing more serious, agitation increasing. Municipal Council has forbidden students in uniform remain in the concession. French Consul considers measure premature, [Page 698]but believes will have to take similar action in French settlement. United Chinese Merchants Shanghai and Chamber of Commerce other places have telegraphed the Government stating that unless the three traitors are dismissed there will be universal uprisings.
French Ambassador at Tokyo has telegraphed that the Japanese Government is much worried about the Chinese boycott fearing popular uprising in Japan due to the rice shortage. Therefore it will urge the Chinese Government to take severe repressive measures. This is short sighted policy; if repressive measures are used popular feeling will be inflamed still more with incalculable results. It seems to be the intention of the Japanese at this time to emphasize solidarity of allied interests. If they get the Chinese Government to use strong measures supported by other governments in their concessions they will have succeeded in unloading on others their well deserved odium.
This situation cannot be solved by use of force or repressive measures. The only adequate solution would be revision of the Paris decision re Shantung or a frank statement on the part of Japanese [of intention] to do justice to China. As the Japanese Government is beginning to find itself in a precarious position the continuance of the present movement may have salutary effect of inducing them to make just arrangement. It is in no sense in our interests to get into this matter unless circumstances should absolutely compel. If events here can have their normal course the main results will be salutary.