123.P 282/73: Telegram

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


339. …

I have received your telegram No. 117, April 11, 6 p.m., and fully appreciate and share your desire to reopen the Nanking consulate as soon as can be done without creating conditions of actual danger. But as the result of personal contact with those to whom we should have to look for protection, I have the very strong conviction [Page 344] that such a condition does not yet exist. I have, however, taken preliminary steps towards carrying out the suggestion made in the third paragraph of my No. 215, April 8, 5 [9] a.m. and approved in your telegram cited above, with a view to arrangements whereby Cunningham and Paxton would be invited to visit Nanking: and I have instructed Cunningham in that event to satisfy himself on the spot and candidly advise me whether or not I have exaggerated in my own mind the danger involved in reestablishment of the Nanking consulate at this time.
Since as indicated in my telegrams 301, May 2, 7 p.m. and 313, May 5, 3 p.m., the Nationalist authorities have failed to live up to their definite assurances with respect to the establishment of the Joint Commission provided for by the Nanking settlement of March 30th and have tried to force [us?] into acquiescing in arrangement which would leave it open for the Commission to resolve itself into a debating society to reconsider the whole settlement. To protect the position already gained I have had to take the ground that we cannot go further with the Nanking regime until they demonstrate the good faith with which they professed to settle with us. It has therefore been necessary to hold in abeyance the preliminaries looking towards the consular visit to Nanking.

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  1. Telegram in three sections.