The Consul General at Shanghai ( Gauss ) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 20—4:30 a.m.]
291. Reference my No. 275, April 14, 10 a.m., and No. 284, April 15, 3 p.m., concerning representations made by the Japanese Consul General to the Chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Council and to my colleague and myself regarding anti-Japanese publications in the International Settlement.
A Chinese, who was distributing manager of the Chinese edition of the Shanghai Evening Post and Mercury, Peiping (American owned), was shot and killed on April 17. On April 18 letters extolling the creation of a new order in East Asia and threatening the use of bombs [Page 29] and bullets against those papers failing to “return to a realization of the position and give honest views and opinion” were received by four so-called “British owned” and two “American owned” Chinese language newspapers. The letters mentioned were signed by an organization styling itself “Chinese Youth’s National Salvation Association”. In police and informed circles here, it is believed that the above-mentioned developments represent Japanese attempts to terrorize and bring about the cessation of the publication of further anti-Japanese material. Another development which may increase the difficulties of the Settlement police is the publicity being given by the local Chinese language newspapers to the “National spiritual mobilization week”, which is being observed from April 17 to 23. However, the Shanghai municipal police are taking measures quietly to induce the publishers of anti-Japanese material to cease publication of such news and have been confiscating newspapers and other printed matter pronouncedly anti-Japanese in tone.
Repeated to Peiping and Chungking. Air mailed to Tokyo.