793.94119/500: Telegram

The Chargé in China (Peck) to the Secretary of State

63. Reference Peiping’s 48, January 23, 4 p.m., 52, January 25, 4 p.m. and [55,] January 27, 3 p.m.12

Financial crisis. In conversation with Drumright13 on the afternoon of January 31, Dr. T. T. Id of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs broached the subject of Wu Pei Fu. He stated that Wu has been [Page 132] in touch with the National Government since the commencement of hostilities, that Wu sent a plea to the Nanking authorities as early as September 1937 to assist him in leaving Peiping, that certain unnamed Embassies were thereupon approached to aid in Wu’s departure from Peiping, that nothing concrete emerged in response to these démarches, that Wu has been under constant heavy pressure from his immediate subordinates and the Japanese to participate in the formation of a new regime in the north, that Wu has no desire to act in such a capacity, and that he has hitherto been able to parry the demands and importunities addressed to him on various pretexts including the setting forth of counter-demands which he felt would not prove acceptable to the Japanese. Dr. Li stated that as late as a month ago he himself had seen a letter from Wu to the Generalissimo.

After reciting the foregoing Dr. Li asked if the American Embassy could do anything to facilitate Wu’s departure from Peiping. Drum-right replied to Li in noncommittal terms, adding that it was his private opinion that even if it were in the power of the American Embassy to aid in Wu’s departure from North China it was not the policy of the American Government to intervene in a matter of this sort. He informed Dr. Li, however, that the matter would be brought to the attention of his superior officer.

If reports from Peiping to the effect that Wu on January 31 told correspondents that he is proceeding to Kaifeng to head a Pacification Commission can be credited, it would appear that he has now committed himself to a policy of cooperating with the Japanese, and that consequently the problem of his departure from Peiping is no longer material.

Repeated to Peiping.

  1. None printed.
  2. Everett Francis Drumright, Second Secretary of Embassy.