The Consul General at Shanghai ( Gauss ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 11:15 a.m.]
485. I now repeat for information of Department the substance of telephone message sent by me late yesterday afternoon to the Embassy at Nanking. Following is substance of my telephone message communicated to Counselor Peck47 this afternoon47a at about 6:20. He dictated what I said to the stenographer:
- Chinese airplanes have been bombing Shanghai constantly today. They are violating the area of foreign refuge by flying over it. They are short dropping their bombs, two of which have landed near the race course, and others have hit the Palace Hotel and the Cathay Hotel. There are hundreds killed and wounded; some of them Americans, but we cannot yet ascertain who. Two bombs were dropped near the flagship Augusta as she was coming into port. There is no question as to the identity of these planes; they are Chinese planes. I urge you most emphatically to make representations at Nanking to respect the area of foreign refuge and to stop this wanton slaughtering.
- Ambassador Johnson then came to the telephone and told me that they had heard some of this at Nanking over the radio, and that he had already been to see Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek. I then told him that I had received, with instructions to repeat to him, a message [Page 256] from the Department48 while assuming that most strong representations had been made to the Japanese Ambassador. I added that I had been able to get through by telephone to him only after I had informed the American owned telephone company to say to the Chinese connections that I had ordered the suspension of their facilities to Chinese until I was permitted to get through to the American Embassy.
- It had represented that there was no telephone connection with Nanking. I knew better and instructed the American Telephone Company in the Settlement to say to the Chinese connections that if necessary I would give orders to the American company to refuse connections at the Shanghai end for Chinese officials unless I were put on immediately uninterrupted. I obtained my connection within 5 minutes. I cite this as an example of the manner in which it has become necessary to deal with the situation.