The Consul General at Mukden (Myers) to the Minister in China (Johnson)29
Sir: Having reference to my telegram of today’s date30 regarding the convening of the Northeastern Political Council at Mukden for the purpose of reconsidering the attitude of Manchuria toward the civil war, I have the honor to submit further information on this subject. As was reported in the press, General Chang Hsueh-liang, the chairman of this Council, issued a call to the members to forgather at Mukden at an early date. General Chang Tso-hsiang, of Kirin, Wan Fu-lin, of Heilungkiang, Chang Ching-hui, of Harbin, and the other members except T’ang Yü-lin of Jehol, and Mo Te-hui, now at Moscow, have arrived. The much heralded conference whose sessions are expected to open today may upset the evenly balanced military duel between General Chiang K’ai-shih and Marshal Yen Hsi-shan and bring an end to the present civil strife.
As the Legation has already been advised, more particularly in my telegram of August 28, 12 noon,31 General Chang Hsueh-liang is inclined to side with Chiang K’ai-shih but at the same time has no desire to see southern troops in occupation of the neighboring province of Hopei. Therefore, as has been confidentially learned, he is personally in favor of the occupation of the Tientsin-Peiping region by Mukden [Page 33] troops in the interest of Nanking, in effecting which no fighting is anticipated. Earlier in the present strife, Marshal Yen, it will be remembered, requested General Chang to occupy this region and his delegates are said to have again offered the control of Hopei Province to the General. Too, possibly, the difficulty of remaining neutral and the prospect of enhancing the prestige, if not the influence, of the Mukden Party are other factors which have inspired the calling of this conference.
According to available information, General Chang Hsueh-liang has uniformly refrained from expressing himself in favor of or interested in the formation of the Northern Government at Peiping. The northern delegates who approached him at Peitaiho on this subject were told, I have been informed, that he could neither approve or welcome the formation of the proposed Government as he is an official of the Nanking Government. The use of his name as one of the commissioners of the new Government was obviously without his consent and on September 5th he telegraphed Marshal Yen asking for an explanation. Admiral Shen Hung-lieh, slated as Minister of Navy, sent a similar message. It is possible that the Marshal will receive a definitive reply to these offers in a few days.
Both Dr. Wellington Koo, former Minister at Washington, and Lo Wen-kan, a former Cabinet Minister, have at the request of General Chang returned to Mukden from Peiping where they had gone on the invitation of Wang Ching-wei. No doubt they were asked to come here for consultation. As reported in my telegram of yesterday’s date Mr. Koo has not accepted the cabinet portfolio proffered him and, it is understood, is not likely to do so. Dr. Koo is said to have stated at Peking that he “wished to see the termination of civil war and the settlement of political disputes by peaceful means, if necessary through the mediation or good offices of Mukden”; further that “all parties and groups should be invited to meet and devise means for the convocation of a people’s assembly and for the framing and adoption of a national constitution; only then could a stable Government be formed.” He is said also to have remarked that he could be of no use to China as a whole so long as fighting continued.
Lo Wen-kan, it is understood, although personally inclined towards the Northwestern faction is not likely to join the new Government if General Chang asks him not to do so.
I have [etc.]