893.00 Nanking/17: Telegram

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


117. Legation’s telegrams No. 275 of March 29, 10 a.m. and No. 312 of April 1, 9 a.m. As you were informed by our telegram No. 111, March 31, 6 p.m., the Department asked through the Secretary of the Navy for comment and advice from Admiral Williams with respect to the action proposed in your telegram 275, March 29, 10 a.m., paragraph 7. In case you think immediate action necessary before the Department receives the advice and comment of Admiral Williams, you may give the following instructions to our consul at Shanghai: He may join with the consuls general of the other interested powers in a joint note to Chiang Kai-shek or send a note identical with those sent by the other consuls general. The note may set forth the action of the Chinese troops at Nanking and inform Chiang as commander in chief of the troops that we hold his organization fully responsible for the acts committed there, that we protest against these acts and [Page 176] insist upon reparations and complete satisfaction for the insults which have been offered to the Government of the United States and to its flag and officials and also for all the damage which has been done to citizens of the United States, their persons and property, and that this Government requires guarantees that its citizens be protected in the future. The Department believes that the note in conclusion should reserve the right of this Government to take such action as it shall deem necessary in the light of Chiang’s reply and the measures actually taken by him. This Government does not wish the note to contain anything of the nature of an ultimatum fixing a time limit.