793.003 C 73/77: Telegram
The Minister in China ( Schurman ) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 13—11:50 a.m.]
312. Your 200, September 13 , 5 p.m.63 While continuing to share, as I have always done, the views on the question of principle involved as set forth in the confidential paragraph64 of your 99, June 3, 10 a.m. [p.m.], the present position of affairs in China makes it imprudent to convene the Extraterritoriality Commission in November next. The legal life of the “governing cabinet” has apparently expired on the failure yesterday of Parliament to elect a President within three months of that office becoming vacant as provided in the Presidential election law of the permanent constitution.[Page 627]
Li Yuan-hung has gone from Tientsin to Shanghai where he arrived September 11th. He issued a proclamation that he is still President and in Shanghai to form coalition government for peaceful reunification. He was met on arrival at Woosung by a battalion of troops sent by Ho Feng-lin and is reported to be in communication with Tang Shao-yi and other prominent Chinese. He is domiciled in French concession but on understanding that street crowds are not to assemble.
There is real possibility another “government” in China in the near future with the result of progressive diminution of the now almost negligible authority of Peking. In the circumstances I can only recommend postponement of conference to a more suitable time.