893.00/8056: Telegram

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


29. Following telegram from Hankow:

“January 12, 4 p.m. Yesterday the Belgian consul general was roughly handled in the French Concession and forcibly detained by a mob of coolies for having intervened in a dispute between a Dutch firm and a Chinese, with the result that the Belgian consul general was conducted to the Chinese police station located in the Special District Administration. Day before yesterday an automobile in the garage [Page 242] of an American, L. E. Gale, and belonging to a German, was seized in the French Concession by armed troops. With other incidents almost daily, disclosing a disregard of foreigners’ rights which is almost complete, the new Government’s lack of control over the labor group is being demonstrated. This constitutes the real menace in situation here. Although on the surface general conditions seem to be improving gradually, the Cantonese cannot hope that sporadic outbreaks against foreigners will be avoided because the favor of the labor faction has been curried so persistently by the Cantonese. Foreign, including American, businessmen have lost heart completely and feel they cannot receive protection from the regime now in control because there does not appear to be a cohesive government among the Political Bureau and the civil and military authorities. The Political Bureau apparently controls major policies and the military authorities oppress the people and usurp the rights of foreigners. Most of the time of the civil authorities is occupied in trying to settle difficulties brought about by the other two.”