893.002/71: Telegram

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

20. Wu Pei-fu and Military Governors and Governors Kiangsu, Hupeh, Honan, Kiangsi, Shantung, Shensi wired President 19th demanding dismissal Premier Liang Shih-yi. They say:

“If you, Mr. President, consider that we, Wu Pei-fu and others, are acting unwarrantably in proffering this request, we desire that [Page 685] you shall remove us from office, that you may be able to look Liang Shih-yi in the face. If you are not able correctly to distinguish right from wrong and if our loyal intentions are thus frustrated we shall take due cognizance of the difficulties of your position and in obedience to the popular will sever all connections with the Cabinet. When necessity arises we will approach the President directly. You, Mr. President, must be fully cognizant whence will come peace, or on the other hand, confusion. The present is a time of stupendous changes and of ever increasing calamities and we, Wu Pei-fu and others, dare not venture to predict what may ultimately happen.”

Original Chinese thinly veils contempt for President and also threat. These sentiments freely expressed by Wu Pei-fu to my informant who had long talk with him on day telegram was sent. Wu would like to make clean sweep and in that event would preserve order and let delegates convention determine future government. If President remains Wu’s policy will be to put himself at the head of all popular movements in the future.

Premier Liang said evening 21st he would remain in office till after the Chinese New Year and then [apparent omission]. He and Madam Liang issued invitations evening 21st for dinner at Foreign Office February 10th.

  1. Text printed from corrected copy received about Jan. 27.