393.11/1453: Telegram

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

259. Following from American Consul General at Hankow:

“February 20, noon. The British Consul General now informs me that General Ho Chen-chun has repudiated [refused?] the request made by the Public Safety Bureau that British forces maintain order along the bund of the ex-British concession in the event of an attack by communist bandits upon Hankow. General Chen [Ho?] stated that the Chinese would be responsible for the maintenance of order throughout Wuhan. The British Consul General informed me yesterday that while this will necessitate a modification of the British defense plans, he thought that the British would in the event of necessity undertake a defense of the bund of the former British concession.

The senior British, American and French naval officers are today discussing together possible safety measures.

There is no immediate threat to Wuhan.”

For the Minister: