893.5045/74: Telegram

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

206. My 203, June 4, 7 p.m.

At meeting of Heads of Legation this morning it was decided at my suggestion that Heads of Legation should send delegates to Shanghai leaving Peking June 8th to study the situation on the spot and report back to us. The principal reason for this action is to make a gesture to the Chinese Government and people evidencing [Page 659] conclusively our grave concern in the state of affairs at Shanghai with its attendant repercussions throughout China as well as our great interest in its proper solution at the earliest moment possible. We considered some such action imperative in order likewise that we should not be placed in a false light and open to accusations of inactivity and in order to afford the Chinese Government and those Chinese and foreigners seeking to calm the situation something for their use to this end. Our action is being given widest possible publicity.
Shanghai consular body is being assured that our action in no wise critical of them or in derogation of their authority but rather to assist them.
The delegation consists of Messrs. Tripier, acting counsellor of the French Legation, chairman; Greene of the American Legation; Shigemitsu, first secretary of the Japanese Legation; Vereker, first secretary of British Legation; Scaduto, first secretary of Italian Legation; and Ullens, first secretary of Belgian Legation.
We are giving the delegation confidential written instructions to put themselves at once in accord with the consular corps at Shanghai, to get in touch with the Chinese commissioners mentioned in paragraph 4 of my 202, June 4, 5 p.m. and to inquire into certain matters.
Following is résumé of further note from Foreign Office to Heads of Legation of June 4th and our reply thereto of even date:89 Note energetically protests alleged violent [sic] International Settlement resulting in general strike and asks urgent instructions to Shanghai consular authorities to cease from further bloodshed. Reply states judgment of facts reserved by the diplomatic representatives concerned until receipt of further information. To secure this the interested diplomatic representatives will send to Shanghai without delay a delegation to study the situation and report. Reply gives most explicit assurance that police orders in the Settlement are to use arms only if attacked and that these orders have been renewed and will be strictly enforced and that none more desirous than foreign diplomatic representatives and Settlement authorities to avoid new troubles.
I have telegraphed Cunningham that while law and order must be maintained by all necessary force, if conciliatory measures will contribute to bring return to normal conditions I consider these should be used whenever possible.
  1. See note of June 4 and the Senior Minister’s reply, June 6, pp. 654 and 656.