893.55J/2: Telegram

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

7. A large influx of destitute Jewish refugees from Europe has led the Shanghai Municipal Council to ask the foreign consular representatives to take steps through interested organizations and shipping companies to prevent the further coming of such refugees, as Shanghai is unable to cope with the problem having already an acute Chinese refugee situation and it being beyond the power of the community or the municipality to provide accommodation and subsistence for large numbers of foreign refugees the great majority of whom will not be able to find any employment. There is already considerable “white collar” unemployment. There are at present about 2000 Jewish refugees here, most of them destitute, and more are arriving by every steamer from Europe coming principally by the Italian liners which bring them in hundreds. There is at present no passport control at Shanghai and I understand that the fact that this is one port in the world where they can land without visas has encouraged refugees to come or be sent to Shanghai. It is to be expected that if the present influx is not stopped measures may be taken here to establish passport control and prevent their landing.

There is already evidence of an undercurrent of anti-Jewish sentiment amongst White Russian refugees and others with whom the Jewish refugees must compete for employment. This situation requires careful watching.
At a recent meeting with my British, French, Netherlands, and Portuguese colleagues it was agreed that we should bring the situation here to the attention of our respective governments and recommend that the Jewish committees in Europe be urgently requested to take immediate steps to stop the further despatch of refugees to [Page 56] Shanghai and that such committees be urged to remit substantial funds at once to the Shanghai Jewish Committee for the support of the refugees who have arrived and are continuing to arrive, the local committees being unable to carry the heavy burden notwithstanding that they have done their best. In this connection please see the message to the American Red Cross transmitted in my telegram No. 1479 of December 16.2
  1. Not printed.