893.00 Nanking/14: Telegram

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

303. My 275, March 29, 10 a.m.

Following from patrol commander, March 30th:

“Attached telegram March 30th from patrol commander:

0330, at Nanking. Although conditions ashore becoming more normal, truculence and arrogance of Nationalists towards foreigners growing daily as they become increasingly convinced that foreigners can be insulted and injured with impunity. Chinese messenger to International Export Company today was beaten. Returned with message that any British endeavoring to go there would be shot. Light wall guns trained on each foreign naval vessel entering port and it is reported that field guns are being mounted on city wall [Page 170] threatening foreign vessels. No communication with Nationalist authorities March 25th. It is evidently inadvisable and dangerous for any foreigners to go ashore. 1533.”

With reference to the foregoing, American consul, Nanking, telegraphs March 30th:

“Referring to commander, North China Patrol, message 0330–1533. I consider the unfavorable developments mentioned have been caused by absence of any definite action since March 25th, and I believe each day’s delay is rendering the eventual solution more difficult. I would suggest desirability of presenting demands as soon as possible, not subject to discussion local authorities, covering Nanking incident with statement that failing compliance we reserve the right to take such action as we deem necessary.”