793.94/10803: Telegram

The Consul at Tsingtao (Sokobin) to the Secretary of State

The Mayor of Tsingtao invited me this morning to discuss the situation in Tsinanfu, the capital of Shantung. He referred to numerous current rumors that an agreement had been reached between Han Fu Chu and Japan executives [military?], that a Peace Preservation Commission had been established in Tsinanfu which if true would commit Shantung to a separate policy and freedom of action in north. The Mayor went at length to explain that he had denied negotiation of such an agreement with Japan and had “severely rebuked” the leaders of the Peace Preservation Commission movement. It appears to the Consulate that the Mayor’s elaborate explanation was intended to cover what was probably already a fait accompli, that is a Han-Japanese understanding in regard to Shantung and a movement in Tsingtao [for?] separation from Nanking in the politico-military sphere.

Sent to Nanking, Peiping.