893.01 Provisional/164: Telegram
The Counselor of Embassy in China ( Lockhart ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:06 p.m.]
661. Embassy’s 650, November 1, 9 a.m., and Nanking’s 178, November 3, 2 p.m., and 176, November 2, 3 p.m.6
1. Wang Keh Min and other officials are due to return to Peiping from Nanking this morning following a visit yesterday to Shanghai. General Kita, who went with them to Nanking, is also scheduled to return.
According to several officials of the Provincial [Provisional] Government, the “National Conference” reported by Nanking as scheduled to be held next month in that city will have its counterpart in an assembly of “People’s Delegates” here and perhaps other places. They state that out of these gatherings will probably issue invitations to the Mengchiang regime and new Canton and Hankow regimes to join the federation under the United Council. It is not, however, possible to predict the exact course such projected political developments will take, one reason being that they are experimental in nature and depend for their direction upon the outcome of rivalries among and maneuvers by concerned Japanese and Chinese. One informant states that Doihara7 has returned here from Tokyo with approval for [Page 372] his plan outlined in paragraph 2 of the Embassy’s 650, November 1, 9 a.m., and if this proves to be true a recasting of governmental personnel and framework will result. Wang Keh Min is nevertheless expected to continue in some nominally important post because of the curious fact that although Kita and his other Japanese sponsors are reportedly tired of him because of his stubbornness, his elimination would mean a political defeat for them and victory for Doihara. As an example of Japanese difficulties with him, an officer of this Embassy has been informed by a Chinese official close to Wang that Generals Terauchi and Kita have for some time been trying to persuade Wang to sign a document “transferring” all North China railways to the Japanese in some form, such as an “indemnity” to the Japanese Government for war expenditures in this area or as a share in a development project in which nine-tenths of the ownership and control would be Japanese and a nominal [one?] tenth composed chiefly in financial returns would be Chinese. This Wang has refused to do and, although he must conform to most of their general and specific proposals in respect to the Government, he is known to quarrel with them constantly over details and over matters in which he sees some possibility of saving something for the Chinese.
3. Repeated to Chungking, Nanking, code text by mail to Shanghai, Tokyo.