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

No. 2045

Sir: With reference to my despatch No. 2033 of March 6, 1939,23 in regard to the Japanese demands on the Municipal Council of the International Settlement at Shanghai, I have now the honor to enclose for the files of the Department a copy of a report23 from the Commissioner of Police to the Secretary of the Council, recording certain conversations between the Commissioner and the Japanese authorities on the subject of the measures of “cooperation” to be observed in the detection of anti-Japanese terrorism.

At the same time, I enclose for the information of the Department a copy of a letter dated March 9th from the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Asiatic Fleet, enclosing a report24 submitted by officers of the Fourth Regiment, United States Marine Corps, in regard to certain raids carried out in the so-called American defense sector of the Settlement on the morning of March 8th. It appears from this report that the Japanese Gendarmerie are enabled to carry on raids in the Settlement areas south of Soochow Creek with the Municipal Police doing little more than looking on.

At the request of Admiral Yarnell, I have brought his letter and the report to the attention of the Chairman of the Municipal Council by a communication a copy of which is enclosed.23 I also enclose a copy of my letter of acknowledgment23 to Admiral Yarnell.

The situation facing the Municipal Police is an exceedingly difficult one and I am not disposed to question too severely the measures taken by them in attempting to suppress terrorism in the Settlement area. At the same time, I feel that they are allowing the Japanese Gendarmerie to encroach on the police authority in a manner which is quite certain eventually to lead to independent action by the Japanese military police in the Settlement areas. I trust that the report made by the United States Marine officers which is being brought to the attention of the Chairman of the Municipal Council may result in measures being taken by the Council to require the police to hold strictly to arrangements under which the police shall assume full [Page 17] control of all raids and place the Japanese Gendarmerie in their proper place as observers. It will be noted that I have asked for information as to the disposition made of the Chinese taken into custody during the raids mentioned in the report of the United States Marine officers.

Respectfully yours,

C. E. Gauss

The Commander in Chief, United States Asiatic Fleet ( Yarnell ), to the Consul General at Shanghai ( Gauss )

My Dear Mr. Gauss: I am enclosing herewith copies of a report25 made by Major M. A. Edson, U. S. M. C, and Major J. S. Monahan, U. S. M. C. on raids carried out in the American Sector on the morning of March 8th by Shanghai Municipal Police and the Japanese Gendarmerie.

It is evident from this report that Japanese Gendarmerie are permitted to search anywhere they please, that they make arrests, and that the arrested persons can be removed from the Settlement if desired.

I consider such a procedure a surrender of authority that would not be tolerated in any efficient military or police organization.

It seems to me as a matter of elementary justice that there should be no discrimination as far as race is concerned, in the protection of the residents of the International Settlement against illegal arrest, and that all arrested persons should be guaranteed a hearing before the Courts.

It is requested that the Shanghai Municipal Council be informed that I strongly disapprove of any raids carried out in the American Sector under the direction and supervision of the Japanese Gendarmerie as long as the Fourth Regiment of Marines remains on duty in this sector.

Very sincerely,

H. E. Yarnell
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