701.5193/34: Telegram

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

168. The new French Ambassador to China, Henri Cosme, who is understood to have served as Counselor and Chargé d’Affaires at Peiping from 1928 to 1930 and more recently as Chief of the Asiatic Section of the French Foreign Office, presented his credentials to the Chinese Government in Chungking on March 10 and has so notified me. The Chinese press utilized to [this?] occasion to urge closer Sino-French cooperation in the defense [of] their joint interests in the Far East and more specifically asked for parallel action on the part of France with the United States and Great Britain [in] facilities for transport of munitions through Indo-China, and French economic aid in the development of the southwest.

It is gathered that the appointment of Monsieur Cosme is welcomed in Chinese official circles as it is felt that he is sympathetic to the Chinese cause. He has informed me that he has been instructed to be in constant readiness to travel whenever his duties may require but that his headquarters will be in Shanghai where he will give personal supervision to the affairs of the French Concession which he deems his most important mission at present. He remarked that although the Chinese have hitherto strongly objected to the foreign Concessions, they now realize that Chinese interests are involved in the preservation of the Concessions. He inquired whether the American Ambassador would return to and remain in Chungking and I replied in the affirmative. He said he understood the Soviet Ambassador was the only other ambassador intending to do this.

Repeated to Peiping.

Peck