893.00 Nanking/9: Telegram

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

285. 1. Following radiogram dated March 28 received from American consul, Nanking:

“Following conclusions and recommendations arrived at after careful investigation and consideration:

Nationalist soldiers deliberately fired upon, with intention to kill, the British, Japanese and American consuls knowing them to be such. In my case I had just given them my card and asked to see their officer. In the case of the Japanese consul he was shot at while ill in bed. All three consulates were deliberately looted and, although this was known by Nationalist officers, no effective measures were taken to afford protection up to the time of naval barrage to rescue party in Standard Oil Company houses. Adequacy of possible steps taken thereafter not known.

Murder, robbing, attempted rape and other outrages were committed upon Americans and other foreigners in all parts of the city from 8 a.m. with no attempt at official restraint until after naval barrage at 4:30 p.m.

Although we attempted all day, through the police authorities and several other channels, to see some responsible officer, none would see me.

From statements made to me and many other Americans by soldiers, from soldiers’ conversations overheard by Americans in hiding, from the fact that soldiers proceeded in bands whose movements were under direction and were promptly assembled by bugle calls upon commencement naval barrage, it is proven that outrages were planned and could not possibly have been an accidental getting out of hand of a few troops.

On March 24th and 25th Nationalist commander in chief not only flatly refused to send any high officer to consult with naval and consular officers regarding safety of foreigners remaining in city, but his reply was both evasive and insolent.

In view of above facts it appears evident that the American policy of conciliation heretofore followed towards the Nationalist Government has failed and that unless a very strong attitude is promptly taken all foreign lives and property in China will remain in serious and constantly increasing jeopardy.”

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2. I assume the Department will give publicity to the substance of this report. With that in view I have refrained from giving it to the local press.