893.00/7132: Telegram

The Minister in China ( MacMurray ) to the Secretary of State

103. My 92, February 26, noon. Following from American consul general, Canton:

“February 26, 4 p.m. Referring to my telegram of February 23, 6 p.m., concerning Island of Hainan affair, I have just received copy of a private letter written by an American missionary woman at Nodoa and forwarded by the British consul which shows much worse conditions than the previous reports had indicated. According to this letter Cantonese troops entered mission compound by force, occupying chapel and boys’ school, also threatened to occupy American residence and threatened lives of American missionaries. Soldiers [Page 697] continually yelling ‘kill foreigners’ and invading private dwellings. Officers commanding the army extremely rude and showed no disposition to hold men in check.

Missionaries do not believe their lives in danger because the troops evidently instructed to carry outrages as far as possible without endangering lives and property.

I am still awaiting further particulars in report from destroyer commander, which I understand has been mailed. Meantime, I would urge immediate authorization to take strong position with the Cantonese Government, insisting upon expressions of regret from the Government, as well as general commanding troops, and assurances order will be maintained in the future and American rights respected, including evacuation of American property. Consular officer should be sent to Hainan but this is impossible so far as my office is concerned.”

MacMurray