893.00/8008: Telegram

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

13. 1. I assume from last sentence your 309, December 24, noon,86 that you are adequately informed of the critical conditions which have been existing at Hankow since January 3rd; certain phases, however, particularly pertaining to the evacuation of American citizens necessitate telegraphic report as follows:

2. Following from American consul general, Hankow:87

“Urgent. January 5, 11 a.m. The situation in British Concession this morning extremely discouraging. Huge crowds are congregating along the bund and back streets. All foreign banks and business houses have closed. Temper of the crowds ugly as it was yesterday. Necessity of evacuating women and children a possibility. American plans in this respect have been changed in view of the British Concession having been taken over by the Chinese military. Americans will concentrate at the consulate if situation should demand evacuation. It would make my position more comfortable if I were authorized to make whatever transportation arrangements possible and incur expense in case of evacuation. Transportation facilities would necessarily be scarce.”

3. I have authorized Lockhart to make whatever transportation arrangements and incur whatever expense may be necessary in case of evacuation. I hope you approve.

4. Following from American consul general, Hankow:

“January 5, 3 p.m. Situation extremely critical; many women assembled at the consulate with a view to leaving by boat this afternoon or tonight. General alarm prevails and developments of the afternoon quite uncertain. British Concession completely in the hands of Chinese military, and women and children of all nationalities leaving the Concession, some taking to boats in the river and others coming to other concessions for safety,” and

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“January 5, 6 p.m. British consul general issued orders for evacuation of British women and children this afternoon and many have already boarded ships. Many American women are also leaving. About 20 or 30 American and British women and children evacuated from this consulate general this afternoon. Situation continues grave. Ships may be held in harbor pending further developments.”

  1. Not printed.
  2. Frank P. Lockhart.