The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 7:50 p.m.]
354. 1. Following from Tsinanfu:28
“August 1, 4 p.m. Since the entrance into Shantung of Central Government troops as reported in my July 31, 8 p.m., the local situation has become serious. A large number of Chinese have attempted to leave the city and it has been necessary to turn many of them back.
The Japanese Consul General stated in conversation this afternoon that he had not yet given up hope of a peaceful settlement but that it was necessary to prepare for the worst. Many of the official records of the Japanese are being sent to Tsingtao and only approximately 650 Japanese are still in the city. The Consul General further stated that he had heard this morning that Central Government troops had arrived in Tsinanfu today and that if such troops are stationed here in the province it was deemed a cause for Japanese troops to come in. He mentioned an unconfirmed report that Han Fu Chu29 left here for the south yesterday to meet General Pai Chunghsi.30 He gave it as his private opinion that foreign women and children should leave Tsinanfu.[Page 243]
Unless I am instructed to the contrary I intend to urge American women and children at interior points to go to Tsingtao or Tsinanfu and I shall advise same in this city to be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.”
2. Embassy has replied:
“August 2, 11 a.m. Your August 1, 4 p.m. I approve of steps which you have already taken. Embassy appreciates your constant efforts to keep it already [always?] advised of local situation.”
3. Tokyo being informed.