893.102S/1757: Telegram

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

183. Reference my No. 180, March 3, 6 [8] p.m., regarding Japanese demands on the Municipal Council. After examination of the memorandum handed to them by the Chairman of the Council yesterday afternoon the Japanese indicated that the memorandum would be acceptable to them provided the Chairman would alter the words “under the general supervision of the Commissioner of Police” as quoted at the end of paragraph No. 1 in my No. 180 to read “under arrangement with the Commissioner of Police”, it being stated that the words “general supervision” could not be rendered precisely into Japanese. The proposal was apparently a quibble but the Chairman agreed to make the amendment.

Meanwhile my British colleague and I had asked for a meeting of the Treaty Consuls today. Both the Senior Consul who is the Italian Consul General, and the Japanese Consul General demurred as to the necessity for any hurried meeting but finally acquiesced. This morning my British colleague and I agreed that the meeting should be held notwithstanding the accord addressed [effected] between the Japanese and the Council last evening, believing that the Treaty Consuls should have the opportunity carefully to record their views. The Italian and Japanese Consuls General, however, again demurred, arguing that there is no apparent need for an immediate meeting or for any meeting. The British Consul General has yielded to the extent of agreeing for the moment to a postponement, feeling that the improved situation should not be disturbed by any possible criticism of the Japanese at the meeting. I told the British Consul General that there is no necessity for any cross-examination or criticism of the Japanese Consul General and the meeting should be entirely conciliatory but I feel that there should be a meeting at which the Treaty Consuls may record their views as the present apparent improvement in the situation is undoubtedly only temporary; however, in view of the larger British interests involved in the International Settlement, I would not oppose his decision.
The Japanese have put out a press release which emphasizes that an accord on cooperation between the Council and the Japanese authorities has been reached following Japanese representations on account of the recent terrorism. The Council has so far made no statement to the press. I feel that while the Japanese have been stopped for the moment in their plans regarding the Settlement it is [Page 16] only a matter of time before we shall again be facing the same ugly problem.

Repeated to Tokyo, Chungking and Peiping.