The Consul General at Shanghai (Gauss) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 24—7:15 a.m.]
230. The Chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Council has informed the Senior Consul by letter that armed and uniformed Chinese auxiliaries are being used by the Japanese Gendarmerie in the areas of the Settlement north of Soochow Creek and on the bridges leading to those areas from south of the creek. The Chairman states that in the present circumstances which the Council is powerless to control certain police functions are being performed by the Japanese Gendarmerie in the northern areas which would normally be performed by the Shanghai Municipal Council but it is dangerous in the extreme and contrary to established principle that the Japanese Gendarmerie should employ armed and uniformed Chinese to assist them in their functions. He states that the Council is at the present time anxiously endeavoring to preserve law and order to the best of its powers and in particular to suppress acts of terrorism, that the realities of the situation must be faced, and that it cannot be denied that the functioning in the Settlement of Chinese attached to the Japanese Gendarmerie is likely to prove a direct incentive to those acts of terrorism which everyone must be anxious to prevent. He asks the Senior Consul to bring the letter to the attention of the Consular Body and that appropriate action be taken.
The Japanese recently brought Chinese troops to the western area of Shanghai outside the foreign defense lines with the result that the Chinese troops were promptly attacked by Chinese guerrillas and have now been withdrawn.
If the Japanese persist in using Chinese auxiliaries in the areas of the Settlement north of the creek they can expect to provoke acts of terrorism for which they must assume the full responsibility. The number of auxiliaries used is not known but is not large.[Page 21]
The introduction of these Chinese who are believed to have been recruited from amongst policemen formerly in the Chinese city police suggest that the Japanese do not contemplate the early restoration of the northern areas of the Settlement to Council control. There are at present a number of foreign, Indian and Japanese members of the municipal police functioning in the northern areas together with about 50 Chinese constables engaged in traffic duties. The Japanese have failed to restore the area to the full police control of the Council which would result in a heavy increase in the number of Chinese police of the Council in order to maintain order amongst the Chinese population.
The Japanese naval landing party has recently issued new traffic regulations for the northern areas including the northern areas of the International Settlement, thus arrogating to themselves authority which reposes in the municipal police. This action has also been the subject of protest by the Council to the Japanese Consul General and has also been reported to the Consular Body.
Developments will be reported.
By mail to Peiping, by air mail to Tokyo.