393.1163/93: Telegram

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

47. Following from American consul general at Foochow:

“January 18, 3 a.m. In the course of systematic rioting all day Sunday by Nationalist soldiers of the First and Seventeenth Armies [Page 244] almost all foreign mission property within the walled city of Foochow was looted, including American Methodist institutional church and hospital, and two residences of the American board. When I attempted to see the commander in chief, Ho Ying-ch’ing, yesterday morning in company with two representatives of the American community, we were treated with marked incivility, being obliged to wait a long time in an outer court and being finally received by a subordinate officer. This official tried to disclaim all responsibility even though evidence was overwhelming that the rioting was confined almost entirely to soldiers in uniform and though I was able to show evidence that virile inflammatory placards had been and were still being issued by Nationalist armies, the danger from which I had warned them previously. His reply to my inquiry whether the Nationalist armies would or could protect American lives and property was equivocal. I am convinced Sunday rioting was deliberately planned as a first step to drive out foreigners. In cooperation with the United States Ship Pillsbury, which arrived yesterday, I am arranging for the evacuation American citizens as quickly as possible from the entire consular district during the present lull before the storm which I believe imminent.”