793.94/15326: Telegram

The Consul General at Canton (Myers) to the Secretary of State

104. Reference my 102, August 23.18 Today the press carried a report that a meeting of local merchants will be held August 28 for the purpose of discussing a blockade of Shameen and Hong Kong and that the decision of the meeting will be submitted to the local authorities for appropriate action.

This morning a member of the staff of the Japanese Consulate General called and in referring to press reports in regard to the taking of precautionary measures at Hong Kong, particularly the evacuation of women and children, inquired whether this office had received instructions regarding the evacuation of Americans from Canton. I replied in the negative but mentioned the existence of standing instructions relative to advising Americans to remove from danger zones. In response to my inquiry in regard to press reports of a possible blockade of Shameen he said that he felt certain that the local Chinese and Japanese authorities (the military authorities were not mentioned) are opposed to such a step but that the holding of the meeting would probably not be interfered with.

During the conversation he referred to the situation in Europe and the signing of the German-Soviet Pact19 and indicated that the Japanese position had been altered as a result of recent developments and that although the Consulate General had received no instructions in the matter he felt that Japan would remain neutral in any eventuality.

In the light of the above and of available information in regard to recent developments I am inclined to the view that no blockade of [Page 793] Shameen is intended and that anti-British agitation in this area is likely to decrease.

Repeated to Chungking, Peiping, Hong Kong.

  1. Not printed.
  2. See pp. 1 ff.; for text of the German-Soviet Pact, signed at Moscow, August 23, see Department of State, Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1931–1941, p. 76.