893.102S/1677: Telegram

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

1111. My 1102, August 13, 11 a.m. and 1110, August 13, 7 p.m.

Events on the 12th, 13th and 14th tend to confirm that the Japanese are not as much interested in the maintenance of peace and order [Page 260] in the International Settlement as they would have the public believe. In every incident which occurred on the 13th they were directly implicated, if not the actual instigators, and the most significant fact was that those involved were members of the Special Service Section of the Japanese Army. With the active assistance of the agents of the Ta Tao Government, they were bent on creating disturbances and it was only because of the vigilance and courage of the marines in the American defense sector that serious trouble was averted in that area. Vigilance on the part of the British forces, the volunteers and municipal police in both the International Settlement and French Concession likewise prevented serious disturbances. Both the Japanese and the Ta Tao Government were greatly annoyed at the widespread display of Chinese national flags in the area south of Soochow Creek.
There were four arrests of members, all armed and in civilian clothes, of the Japanese Special Service Section yesterday, one each by the American, British, Italian and International Settlement authorities. One Japanese officer of the rank of major was detained but in each of the foregoing cases the Japanese were turned back to the Japanese authorities after due investigation.
The situation is greatly relaxed today, the volunteers having been demobilized last night and many of the barricades now having been removed.
The dissemination of the anti-foreign leaflets reported in my No. 1096, August 12, 2 p.m.61 was unquestionably a part of this attempt to create ill feeling and trouble. The Japanese, however, according to press reports have denied any connection with this affair, claiming that the plane was a Japanese commercial one leased to the Ta Tao Government for the purpose of distributing pamphlets in the interior.
It is quite evident that the extensive preparations made to preserve order in the Settlement and French Concession were timely and in every way warranted. Otherwise it is very likely that the city would have been thrown into near chaos because of the activities of members of the Special Service Section, the agents of the Ta Tao Government and possibly also anti-Japanese organizations.

Repeated to Chungking, Peiping and Tokyo.

  1. Not printed.