893.00/8136: Telegram

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


26. Following message sent by Navy to Admiral Williams:

“In your opinion should we join in defending Shanghai Foreign Settlement or confine ourselves to defense of American lives and property and not undertake keeping Cantonese out of the Foreign Settlement? To cooperate fully in defending Shanghai Settlement how many troops will you need in addition to twelve hundred marines from San Diego? Should we undertake negotiation for neutrality of the Settlement with Cantonese? Have British entered into such negotiations?”

In your opinion is it possible to negotiate with all the forces concerned for a guarantee of neutrality of the area of the Shanghai International Settlement? Have you knowledge whether British are discussing such a matter with Cantonese forces or any other forces? I am inclined to think such conversations are in progress at Hankow.