893.5045/69: Telegram

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

203. My 198, June 2, 8 p.m.81

Following note handed today to Foreign Office by senior minister and made public:
  • [“](a) I have the honor in the name of my colleagues and in mine to acknowledge the receipt of the letter dated the 1st of this month82 which you were good enough to address me in regard to the disorders which occurred in the International Settlement of Shanghai on May 30, last.
  • (b) While deploring with you the events referred to during which a certain number of unfortunate victims were killed and where others have been seriously wounded, we believe it necessary to specify the circumstances under which the police was led to make use of its arms.
  • (c) Demonstrating groups who were in the act of distributing subversive and clearly antiforeign pamphlets in the Concession on Nanking Road were requested to disperse and the leaders were arrested. The crowd which refused to obey the orders of the police then attacked them and attempted an assault on the police station.
  • (d) It was then only that the police made use of their arms.
  • (e) It would therefore result that the responsibility of the events which followed rests on the demonstrators and not upon the authorities of the Concession.
  • (f) On the other hand subsequently the same authorities gave proof that they were very well disposed and the Mixed Court before [Page 654] whom the culprits who were arrested had been summoned ordered their provisional release on bail.
  • (g) While awaiting further information, we hope that the Chinese Government will continue to envisage this unfortunate incident with the same conciliatory spirit which inspires the arrested [interested] diplomatic representatives to the end that order and tranquillity may be reestablished at Shanghai with the least possible delay.”
Unless otherwise instructed will not telegraph in full Chinese Government’s note of June 1st which is going forward next pouch.83
Senior minister authorized at a meeting today of Heads of Legation to seek interview with Chief Executive to discuss Shanghai incident in order to show Chinese Government our [apparent omission] and conciliatory attitude.
Japanese Minister at meeting stated he had seen Tuan Chi-jui84 yesterday and had told latter that students to blame in Shanghai for not obeying police and attacking station. Tuan replied too many students killed; that he had appointed a committee to investigate and would await report that not advisable for Chinese Government to suppress students “rashly” but would do so “gradually.”
According to Rosta, Karakhan85 has just addressed note to Wai Chiao Pu expressing great regret over Shanghai incident, sympathy for killing of students and requesting that his condolences be conveyed to their families. …
  1. Not printed.
  2. Ante, p. 648.
  3. Full text, ante, p. 648.
  4. Chief Executive of the Provisional Government of China.
  5. Soviet Ambassador in China.