711.93/131: Telegram

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

140. My 128, February 10, noon. Following from American consul general at Canton:

“February 13, 4 p.m. Your January 31, 3 p.m. Department’s declaration of policy concerning China has created little or no interest in Canton either amongst Chinese or foreigners. Declaration is criticised as containing nothing new except possibly offer to negotiate separately. Semiofficial Canton Gazette published complete text but without comment. Workers vernacular papers have merely referred to declaration without publishing it. Their criticism is that the note lacks sincerity because the United States could and should abandon all “unjust rights” under existing treaties instead of trying to hold on to them until new treaties can be negotiated.

Note suggesting neutralization of Shanghai area11 seems to have created some resentment amongst officials on the ground that Shanghai is Chinese and not foreign territory.
Although I may be mistaken, I feel conscious of growing coldness on the part of local authorities for Americans. This is doubtless due to the final realization that the American Government is no more disposed than Great Britain to abandon extraterritoriality and also to the fact that American naval forces are assembling in Shanghai.”

  1. See telegrams No. 31, Jan. 28, and No. 35, Jan. 31, to the Minister in China, pp. 59 and 65.