893.102 S/1329: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in China (Gauss)

385. Your 557, December 6, 11 a.m.

1. Department concurs in the opinion of the Legation that the matter of providing protection of foreign life and property outside the perimeter of the defense scheme and the authority and responsibility therefor should be definitely divorced from the defense scheme. As a logical corollary of this, it seems inappropriate for the defense scheme to contain any provision except of a negative or purely informational character in regard to providing for protection outside the perimeter. The Department therefore suggests that the first sentence of the revised wording submitted by the Legation be amended to read as follows:

“The protection of foreign life and property in areas outside the perimeter shall form no part of the plan of combined action or of the responsibility of the Defense Committee”.

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The Department approves the second sentence. The Department desires that the Consul General at Shanghai confer with the Commanding Officer of the American Marines toward obtaining the adoption of the revised wording as soon as practicable.

2. In view of the complicated political situation at Shanghai and of the definite responsibility of the consular body in matters relating to the Municipal Council and the administration of the International Settlement, and as the Chairman of the Municipal Council is a member of the Defense Committee, Department desires that steps be taken to carry into effect the suggestion that the Consuls General of the garrison powers be included in a consultative capacity in the personnel of the Defense Committee. Department suggests that this matter be worked out by the Consul General at Shanghai in consultation with the Commanding Officer of the American Marines and, in the Legation’s and Cunningham’s discretion, perhaps with the British Consul General. The making of this suggestion in no way reflects upon the commanding officers of the American Marines. It would afford a practicable means toward effecting the closest possible cooperation between the civil and military authorities and toward facilitating taking into account the special and important political factors incident to the discharge of this Government’s responsibilities at Shanghai. These desiderata the Department is confident the Commanding Officer wishes no less than does the Consul General. Department believes that a tactful and informal approach by Cunningham to the Commanding Officer will result in the Commanding Officer giving his whole-hearted endorsement to this suggestion.

3. Department desires that Cunningham handle this matter in person. In case he is unable prior to his departure on leave to attend to the matter, it should have his prompt attention upon his return.

4. Report by telegraph as soon as practicable.