893.00/8232: Telegram

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

131. My 121, February 8, 1 p.m. Following from American consul, Hankow:

“February 9, 6 p.m. My February 6, 2 p.m. In the course of conversation with Eugene Ch’en today concerning threatened seedling [sic] strike and other matters, I inquired what action, if any, he had taken on memorandum presented Sunday. He replied that no definite action had yet been taken, but that he was certain Nationalist Government would not approve proposal. He again complained bitterly of the presentation of the proposals to the military authorities and said that whereas the American Government has only been guilty of ‘financial intervention heretofore, she is now guilty of military intervention’ because to neutralize Shanghai would mean the release of Sun’s troops in that vicinity for use against Nationalist troops elsewhere; in other words, as he put it, the foreigners will hold Shanghai, the very heart of financial China and a strategic point of vast importance, for the benefit of Sun Ch’uan-fang, while Nationalist forces are engaging his troops in territory this side of Shanghai. He says that he actually fears that the proposal, having now been widely published, may cause anti-American reactions. While conceding sincerity of purpose, he said that the American Government persists in disregarding the fact that the Nationalist Government is something real and that once more he wished to explain that it is an irresistible force which must be reckoned with as the most dominant political factor in China today. On the subject of dealing directly with the military he said that the United States is crucifying the Nationalist Government on a cross of technicalities. Memorandum covering conversation will be mailed you.”