The Counselor of Embassy in China (Peck) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 16—11:10 a.m.]
304. 1. Government department is reliably reported to be packing archives preparatory to removal of the Government from Nanking possibly to Changsha.
2. Responsible officers of the Government have just informed me, however, that although minute plans have been prepared to effect removal when hostilities seem unavoidable this crisis does not seem imminent. One of these informants stated that in the most recent conversations between Suma and the director of the Asiatic Department the former has strongly insisted on joint military operations against Communistic menace in Hopei-Chahar and Suiyuan and on joint economic activities in Shantung, Shansi and Suiyuan and has placed lessened emphasis on the other proposals. The other informant did not think the Japanese would press negotiations to the point of open break at the moment possibly because of unstable condition of the Japanese Cabinet but he asserted that “anything might happen.” It is confirmed that Han Fu Chu is arriving at Hangchow October 17 to confer with Chiang Kai Shek.
Repeated to Peiping, by mail to Tokyo.