The Consul General at Tientsin (Lockhart) to the Chargé in China (Gauss)21

No. L–808

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the second paragraph of Page 4 of the political review for this consular district for September, 1934,22 in which reference is made to plans for the setting up of a “Reorganization Committee for the Demilitarized Zone”, and, in that connection, to inform the Legation that the Commission for the Settlement of Affairs Pertaining to the War Zone was, according to local English and vernacular press reports, formally instituted this morning.

These reports state the members of this Commission to be:

  • Yin T’ung, Managing-Director of the Peiping-Liaoning Railway;
  • Li Tse-i, representing the Readjustment Council;
  • Yueh K’ai-hsien, Special Diplomatic Commissioner for Chahar;
  • Chu Shih-ch’in, representing the Branch Military Council;
  • Yin Ju-keng, Administrative Inspector for the Chi-Mi Area;
  • T’ao Shang-ming, Administrative Inspector for the Luan-Yu Area;
  • Hsu T’ung-hsin, representing the Hopei Provincial Government.

Three of these seven, Li Tse-i, Yin T’ung, and Chu Shih-ch’in, have been appointed to the Commission’s Standing Committee.

The “General Principles Governing the Organization of the Commission for the Settlement of Affairs Pertaining to the War Zone” were promulgated on October 31, after having received the approval of the Executive Yuan at Nanking. A copy in translation of these “General Principles” is enclosed.22 It will be noted that the Commission is in effect empowered to deal with all matters of any importance which have arisen or may arise in the Demilitarized Zone for a period of six months; that it is appointed by and is subject to the Peiping Political Readjustment Council, of which General Huang Fu is the [Page 302] Chairman; that its seat is in Peiping, in the quarters of the Political Readjustment Council; that by complexion it would appear to be definitely “pro-Huang”; and that its membership is recruited almost altogether from those officials of this area who were trained in Japan and who are known for their acceptability to the Japanese.

It would therefore appear that the establishment of the Commission for the Settlement of Affairs Pertaining to the War Zone gives General Huang Fu a large share of the power to deal with affairs in the Demilitarized Zone which he is reported to have sought during his recent visit to the South. Correlatively, by relieving General Yu Hsueh-chung, the Chairman of the Hopei Provincial Government, of all authority in the Demilitarized Zone, it effectively reduces his power throughout the Province, since there are few matters of any importance likely to arise in this area in the near future which do not relate to that Zone. It might be said that, in a sense, General Yu is being pushed back from the North and West into a very restricted area in and around Tientsin.

But the General is not without friends, and he has so far been able to disregard the continued intimations in the vernacular press, in Japanese propaganda sheets, and even those which by report have been conveyed to him in a more direct manner, that he should submit his resignation or accept a transfer to some inland command.

It is hoped that the Commission for the Settlement of Affairs Pertaining to the War Zone will be found to be well designed to meet the situation now existing in that Zone. At least there has been urgent need for some authority that might remove the confusion that has existed in that area since the signing of the Tangku Truce.24

Respectfully yours,

F. P. Lockhart
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Consul General at Tientsin in his despatch No. D–664, November 1; received December 3.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Signed May 31, 1933, Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. i, p. 120.