793.94/13695: Telegram

The Consul General at Hankow (Josselyn) to the Secretary of State

With the cessation of hostilities on the Manchurian border,63 the pessimism referred to in my telegram August 4, 3 p.m. has returned.

Confronted with the problem of defending Wuhan the Chinese fail to show unity of purpose. The Central Government professes that a determined stand will be made but in the opinion of foreign military observers is now conserving and later will probably withdraw its best troops and equipment to ensure its transcendency in domestic politics. Central Government hope for victory in the present hostilities still rests in the economic collapse of Japan and third power economic or military intervention.

Declaring that with cooperation and determination Wuhan can be another Madrid, the Communists published 2 months ago a comprehensive plan for the defense of the Wuhan area, the salient feature of which was the mobilization, training and arming of the masses. Apprehending an increase of Communist strength if the people are mobilized, the Central Government has blocked fulfillment of the program even to the extent of preventing the Communists from organizing labor and first aid corps for work at the front.

Sent to the Ambassador, Peiping, Shanghai.

  1. See pp. 441 ff.