893.00/12935: Telegram

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

37. Consul General at Hankow telegraphed January 23, noon, that the commander of the U. S. S. Guam at Ichang reported that the Yangtze Rapids Steamship Company had decided that if requested by the Chinese authorities it would transport troops on the upper Yangtze; also that British vessels had been instructed not to transport troops. Josselyn reported that the commander of the Yangtze Patrol had informed him that he would remove armed guards from American ships carrying troops.

Legation instructed Josselyn January 23, 8 p.m., that there has been no change in the American position as set forth in the Legation’s October 28, noon, quoting Department’s 358, October 27, 1933.75

Josselyn telegraphed January 25, 4 p.m., that I Ping, American vessel, will carry 600 troops from Ichang to Wanhsien on next trip. It is understood that these are National Government troops proceeding to Szechwan to oppose Communists.

British Legation states that it will not assist British shipping companies in any arrangements they might wish to make concerning transportation of troops but that it would raise no objection if the companies considered it expedient to do so and that it would lend diplomatic assistance if Chinese refused to carry out any agreement made with companies. British Legation states that British ships have not yet carried troops during present situation.