793.94/11325: Telegram

The Consul General at Shanghai (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

1031. Reference 3rd paragraph of your 579, November 26, 6 p.m., there have as yet been no Japanese demands of the serious character suggested by such press despatches. The Japanese announce their intentions to supervise or control the Chinese posts, telegraphs and radio services but so far have moved slowly and done no more than inspect these activities. So far as I can ascertain, the present plans do not contemplate more than supervision, control of revenues and some censorship the extent of which is not yet indicated. It must be remembered that the Chinese have exercised such supervision, control and censorship in the past and the Japanese claim merely to be taking over Chinese rights.

2. Japanese Consul General has informed Municipal Council of intention to place a Chinese police force under Japanese officers in the western areas beyond the western boundary of the International Settlement but within the British and Italian defense sectors. Japanese do not deny the right of Settlement police to function on the extra-Settlement roads in such areas but claim the right in succession to the Chinese authorities to police the enclaves bounded by such roads. The proposal is ill-advised at this time as likely to lead to incidents involving the Chinese residents and the Japanese-officered Chinese police. No question has been raised as to the Japanese right to do this but it would be preferable to wait until the situation is more settled and a municipal authority and municipal police force have been set up to replace the Chinese municipal government.

3. I am endeavoring to keep Department fully informed of developments and of my views. For the present I am recommending no action.

Sent to the Department, repeated to Tokyo.