861.77/3149: Telegram

The Consul at Harbin (Hanson) to the Secretary of State

General Chang Huan-hsiang of Harbin stating that he was acting under instructions of General Chang Tso-lin of Mukden demanded that the general manager of the Chinese Eastern Railway hand over to General Chang Huan-hsiang land department of the railway which has control over land granted railway by Chinese Government. General manager replied that he would refer the matter to the board of directors of the railway and abide by their decision. General Chang knowing that board of directors would not consent notified general manager that he would take charge of the land department on August 1st.

American, British, French and Japanese consuls have advised General Chang and General Chu Ching-lan, administrator of the railway zone, not to take this step until consuls could communicate with their ministers in regard to this matter which is grave violation of the status quo in railway affairs. Second resolution regarding Chinese Eastern Railway of the Washington Conference82 was brought to their attention. As a precautionary measure consuls at the request of railway administration and representative of the Russo-Asiatic Bank have temporarily placed their respective seals on the closets containing land records of the railway pending receipt of instructions from their ministers.

My opinion is that a protest should be lodged with the Peking Government against action of the local Chinese authorities.

Legation[s] at Peking and Mukden informed.