793.94/8273: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

507. Department’s telegram 248, October 17, 2 p.m.

I arrived in Nanking about midnight October 8 and on morning of October 9 I called upon Minister and Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs. I attended diplomatic reception given by President at 11 a.m. October 10. Twenty-one nationalities were represented, including the Soviet, Italian, American, French, Japanese and British Ambassadors; the Polish, Dutch and Brazilian Ministers. Others were represented by Chargés. The President received us formally [Page 358]in groups and conversed informally with each group, individually. This was followed by refreshments attended by all of the high officials of the Government present in Nanking, including Chiang Kai Shek and Feng Yu Hsiang and H. H. Kung and Wang Chung Hui. The conversation was general and informal after drinking to the prosperity of the Government. In the evening of October 10th the Minister for Foreign Affairs gave a state dinner to the diplomatic representatives who were present at the reception in the morning.
My telegram referred to in Department’s telegram under acknowledgment reported conversations with Donald, Minister of Foreign Affairs and with Vice Minister Hsu. I had no conversations with anyone regarding Chinese income tax law, the Hukuang and Chicago Bank loans or American claims against China.
On October 12, 13 and 14 I called upon or had visits from Sun Fo, C. T. Wang, the Minister of the Navy, the Minister of War, Wang Chung Hui and Dr. Lo Chia Lun. Conversations were general and nothing developed which seemed worthy of reporting. C. T. Wang and Wang Chung Hui expressed an interest in the attitude of the United States and Russia. But all left me with an impression that the Government was, and is, prepared to meet Japanese force with force and is resigned to the consequences, being convinced that to concede all that Japan appears to wish would mean complete Japanese domination and elimination present Chinese Government. Military disposition to that end was being made including concentrations between Hangchow and Shanghai and despatch of Central Government forces into Shantung and into Shansi. Orders had apparently been issued and were being complied with to remove all silver to points of safety and all agencies in Nanking were acting upon instructions to prepare to remove valuable documents and records away from Nanking in the direction of Hunan.
Chiang left Nanking October 10 for Hangchow. He was to have been accompanied by H. H. Kung. I was informed by Mrs. Kung and by Donald that Kung is ill and was trying to resign. Mrs. Chiang is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Chiang was not returning to Nanking, but according to Donald was to go shortly to Sianfu and the Northwest.
  1. Telegram in two sections.