893.00/3380: Telegram

The Minister in China (Crane) to the Secretary of State

168. My July 8, 11 p.m. Mandates have been issued. Diplomatic corps after meeting last night sent to President, Foreign Office and Tuan joint note13 expressing expectation that no military operations should take place in Peking, specifically bombarding from air planes, and holding Chinese Government strictly responsible for losses to foreign lives and property. Tuan has, without Presidential authorization, established dictatorship placing Peking under martial law under the administration of his own henchmen thus openly assuming dominance Peking. Japanese are pressing Chang Tso Lin to remain neutral. Preparations for departure towards Paotingfu of Tuan’s troops, comprising four divisions, about 30,000 men, proceeding slowly. Air service is under Tuan’s control and air planes furnished by British since embargo are being prepared for Tuan’s use.

Italians reported furnishing Tuan large amounts ammunition. Gun was removed from Italian Legation today and delivered to Tuan. Tuan obtaining funds for military operations from Ministry of Communications. Mortgage of Peking-Suiyuan Railway to Japanese for 5,000,000 yen is reported.

Tonight a detachment of 150 Asiatic Squadron sailors, unarmed … , reached Peking where they will remain in case of need.14

Repeated Tokyo.

  1. Post, p. 456.
  2. This sentence is a paraphrase. By his telegram no. 241, Sept. 5, noon, the Minister reported: “Detachment withdrawn yesterday.” (File no. 893.00/3471.)