The Consul General at Mukden (Ballantine) to the Chargé in China (Gauss)48

No. 20

Sir: I have the honor to enclose for the Legation’s consideration a translation49 made in this office of an item in the Hoten Mainiehi of December 6 regarding an alleged movement on the part of members of the former North Eastern Army to establish the independence of North China, embracing the provinces of Hopei, Shantung, Shansi, Chahar, and Suiyuan.

The item appears in large head lines in the most prominent place in the news columns. The source of the news is ascribed to “a certain quarter”, which according to accepted convention refers to the military authorities. The entire set up of the article bears the ear marks of military inspiration.

The translation is a rather free one, as the original is couched in such vague language that the meaning in several places is obscure.

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I have not yet been able to form an opinion of the precise significance of the item, except that it may represent a desire to orient the Japanese public on possible future developments in North China. I shall however, continue to watch for further indications of possible future trends in the same direction.

Respectfully yours,

Joseph W. Ballantine
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Consul General at Mukden in his despatch of December 7, 1934; received January 2, 1935.
  2. Not printed.