893.00 Nanking/260: Telegram

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

117. Your 215, April 8, 9 a.m. I have carefully considered your recommendations about opening the Nanking Consulate. I have been of the opinion for a long time that as soon as an opportunity occurred the Consulate should be opened. It seems to me that the settlement you made of the Nanking affair affords a reasonable opportunity for doing so. I should hesitate if it really would endanger the lives of Americans who would be induced thereby to return. I do not feel, however, that we ought to lose the advantage of your settlement. [Page 340] I suggest that at as early a date as possible you follow the suggestion you make that it be arranged for General Hwang to invite Cunningham and Paxton to visit Nanking, become acquainted with the officials, and inspect the Consular premises. I suggest that at that time the question of reoccupying Consulate be made a subject of discussion between the officials and Cunningham and Paxton. My thought would be that Paxton should reopen the Consulate and that shortly afterwards Spiker19 should be commissioned as Consul at Nanking and be sent there, it being desirable that the post be in charge of a senior officer. Paxton might then either be continued at Nanking or be assigned to Shanghai. I feel that he should remain available in China during the next few months.

  1. Clarence J. Spiker, consul at Shanghai.