593.9412/259: Telegram

The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Acting Secretary of State

518. On May 5th press reports stated that instructions had been issued at Nanking instructing the various principal municipalities to dissolve all anti-Japanese boycott associations and to refrain from inspecting Japanese goods. Inquiries made of local officials failed to confirm these reports and the Legation telegraphed the American Consul General at Nanking, who replied as follows:

“May 9, 3 p.m. Your May 6, 5 p.m. All I can ascertain is that secret instructions were issued probably about May 2 to authorities in the provinces to put a curb on anti-Japanese demonstrations. It does not seem likely that these instructions related directly or even indirectly to activities in pursuance of the boycott. In Nanking anti-Japanese boycott activities are again in progress after having been in abeyance during the Shanghai negotiations.”

The foregoing suggests, however, that the authorities at Nanking are adopting, at least for the present, a conciliatory attitude toward Japan.

For the Minister: