893.102S/1575: Telegram

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

15. Japanese Consul General62 called on Chairman [of] Municipal Council63 yesterday noon accompanied by military and naval representatives and presented three memoranda which may be summarized as follows:

Recent bombing incidents in the Settlement are attributed to inefficacy of efforts of municipal authorities and Japanese expeditionary forces feeling that municipal authorities lack earnestness or ability in meeting their demand for the suppression of anti-Japanese elements “will be forced to take steps as the occasion requires to ferret out” and extirpate such elements. Council is asked to take measures to eradicate anti-Japanese elements and to exercise rigid control of anti-Japanese newspapers. As an essential means of promoting the desired object, the Council is asked to raise the positions and authority and to increase the number of Japanese in the police and to place Japanese in controlling positions in all important matters of the Council.
Chinese Chamber of Commerce, general Labor Union and Citizens Federation having publicly opposed organization of Shanghai Citizens Association (see paragraph 2 of my telegram No. 4, January 2, 1 p.m.64) and having long been engaged in anti-Japanese agitation, the Council should take immediate steps to require them to retract their opposition by public advertisement and Council should place those organizations under rigid surveillance.
This memorandum details desires concerning police including merging of the Japanese branch with the foreign branch, Japanese to be on same footing as foreigners as to rights, authority, control, et cetera, according to respective ranks, Japanese to be detailed to conduct investigations in all cases directly or indirectly involving Japanese interests, a high Japanese police officer to be appointed next to the Commissioner and the present Japanese Deputy Commissioner to be given charge of the districts north of the Creek with Japanese in charge of stations and divisions, and strength of Japanese force to be increased throughout all ranks.

Japanese Consul General stressed desire that a Japanese be appointed Secretary of the Council to rank with the present British Secretary. He did not detail requirements as to Japanese representation in other departments of the Council.
On the control of anti-Japanese newspapers the Japanese Consul General complained of one American incorporated and one American owned Chinese newspaper not registered at this Consulate General. Chairman of Council referred him to me. Japanese Consul General saw me several days ago and was told we could not compel these papers to submit to Japanese censorship but he could refer to me any objectionable articles which I would if necessary refer to the United States Court for China.
Chairman of Council is informing Japanese Consul General that the matters raised require serious consideration and that the consular representatives of the interested powers are being informed of what has taken place. Japanese released information in memoranda 1 and 2 at press conference last evening.

Sent to the Department. Repeated to Hankow and Peiping.

  1. Suemasa Okamoto.
  2. Cornell S. Franklin, American lawyer.
  3. Not printed.