The Minister in China (Reinsch) to the Acting Secretary of State
[Received June 12, 3.60 p.m.]
My telegram June 9, 12 p.m. Government has accepted resignation of three so-called traitors: Tsao Ju-lin; Lu Chung-yu, Chief of Currency Bureau; and Chang, Minister to Japan. President has now formally threatened to resign unless the Parliament and Nation will support him in his foreign and domestic policies. President and Cabinet continue to function. The above move is a demand for a vote of confidence not by Parliament alone but by the Nation. Anfu club controlling Parliament recently resolved Paris treaty should not be signed; President in resigning to Parliament probably desires for one thing to avoid being loaded with the sole responsibility of signing Paris treaty.
The national movement of Chamber of Commerce and students has effected an unprecedented organization and expression of public opinion throughout China. If things go well a true national representation may be evolved from this. After the elimination of traitors the merchants and students will be predisposed to back the President. Seeking national unity on a basis far more sound than compacts between Northern and Southern military is now in sight.
Attitude of Northern military not yet clearly developed. Japanese agents are doing everything to direct the popular mind also against other foreigners particularly British and Americans. Handbills today distributed, [of] Japanese origin, say Great Britain desires to seize Tibet and that many traitors desire to deliver the railways into the hands of British and Americans.
In Shanghai Japanese military demonstrations suggested. Unfortunately Municipal Council representing narrow Shanghai commercialism is doing everything to antagonize the Chinese. Shanghai reports boycott movement may therefore extend to British. We shall try everything possible to circumscribe the effect of this narrow minded attitude.
Peking is quiet. Thus far the only possible source of trouble would be an attempt of the military to repeat the trick of Yuan Shih-kai, 1912, when he allowed Peking troops to mutiny in order [Page 701]to prove him indispensable. But I believe the military are not sure enough of themselves to play this game for the present.
I am greatly in need of information my telegram May 31, 5 p.m.23
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