The Consul General at Tientsin (Lockhart) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 3—5:20 a.m.]
A special train having on board 132 Japanese soldiers, fully armed, and approximately 50 railway police, all Chinese and armed only with revolvers, left for Tangshan this morning ostensibly to open traffic on railway. A number of railway workmen accompanied train. So far as can be ascertained no arrangements have been made with Li Chi-chun’s forces for passage of train through their territory and there is accordingly possibility of clash. Reliably informed Chinese managing director of railway originated plan and made proposal to Japanese. Japanese commandant offered American, British and French commanders on Saturday87 officially to share in [Page 370] responsibility of operating train but offer was declined. Japanese commandant also inquired of each commander whether any objection to proposal and received negative reply.
- July 1.↩