893.00/5487: Telegram

The Chargé in China (Bell) to the Secretary of State

314. My 312, August 28, 3 p.m. Following from American consul general at Shanghai dated August 28, 6 p.m.:

“This morning commissioner of defense notified the superintendent of customs that Chinese naval vessels had left Nanking and Foochow to attack Woosung forts and urged the superintendent to issue notice that shipping should be on guard off Woosung without limiting the area. This might create a virtual blockade of the port of Shanghai. It is anticipated the official notice will be received tomorrow. Since that time superintendent has informed the commissioner of defense that the consular body should properly be notified. In anticipation of such notice the Legation’s instructions are requested as to the proper attitude to be taken in conjunction with colleagues.

Admiral Tu, commander in chief of the Chinese Navy, has issued notice through the North China Daily News warning shipping not to proceed up river between Woosung and Kiangyin at night.

Request above be transmitted to commander in chief so that he may protect American shipping at Woosung and on the lower Yangtze.

Suggest all telegrams be sent via Great Northern. Understand Chinese mail and telegrams being censored but have no reports of censorship foreign correspondence.”

Substance telegraphed Admiral Washington who has sent three destroyers to Shanghai to arrive this morning pursuant to Cunningham’s telegram of August 27, 6 p.m.3

  1. See telegram no. 312, Aug. 28, from the Chargé in China, p. 361.