893.00/7134: Telegram

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

106. Supplementing my telegram 103, March 1, 5 p.m.

I greatly regret there is no consular officer in China that can be spared for the purpose of proceeding to Hainan.
I venture to invite the Department’s attention to the necessity for bringing up to normal standard the personnel of the consulates in China in the disturbed conditions that have for some time existed. Consular officers have been working at high pressure with insufficient [Page 698] assistance and in the majority of cases unable to be spared for the normal leave of absence necessary to prevent their becoming stale.
Hainan incidents are typical of what we may expect to occur with increasing frequency and seriousness. Throughout China there is no adequate governmental authority to prevent such outrages and at points beyond the reach of gunboats we are unable to bring force to bear. Our sole recourse is to [make] investigations and representations to the authorities concerned, which resolve themselves largely into a question of the activity and personal influence of our consular representatives. Even if we should wish to do otherwise we must bear our own part as under present circumstances other nationalities are not in a position to give us effective help. We must moreover make up our minds to place no further reliance upon the prevalence in China of a disposition particularly favorable to Americans. The new spirit of Chinese nationalism recognizes no obligations of friendship except with Russia, but classes us with the British and Japanese with the sole distinction that we are considered less aggressive and therefore the less to be feared. I earnestly recommend that we plan our consular establishment for the present and the future in China on the basis required by the new situation.