893.00/8085: Telegram

The Chargé in China (Mayer) to the Secretary of State

53. My 47, January 18, 5 p.m. Following from American consul Amoy:

“January 19, 4 p.m. British steamer with priests, nuns and several Chinese orphans en route Hongkong from Foochow detained yesterday by agitators for some time but finally allowed to leave after disembarking 10 Chinese including 8 children and 1 Spanish priest. Amoy Spanish priest held up late yesterday afternoon by the Chinese crowd but uninjured, local police protecting. Later mob threatened Spanish mission Amoy and 4 priests and 5 nuns took refuge American steamer Consuelo, leaving premises under police protection. This morning local newspapers contain inflammatory articles against Foochow Catholics accusing them murdering children, et cetera. This morning bodies of 2 newly born babies found on shore of Kulangsu packed in foreign-style basket. Very possible this may increase agitation. At present all agitation directed against Catholics but impossible to say whether it may spread against foreigners generally. International Settlement quiet at present and authorities guarantee protection, also foreigners other than Catholic mission have not been molested on Amoy city side. Situation fully discussed this morning by consular body who are agreed that it is desirable to have a foreign war vessel here in addition to the Japanese cruiser Ohi expected January 21st. Situation in interior quiet but I have warned missionaries in far away stations so that they may be prepared in case it becomes advisable for them to come in.”

Foregoing repeated to commander in chief.