893.102S/1778: Telegram

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

308. By letter dated April 21 the Japanese Consul General has complained to the Chairman of the Municipal Council that the Chinese Government at Chungking has deliberately extended to the foreign areas at Shanghai the “national spiritual mobilization campaign” which it has been conducting elsewhere in China to encourage resistance to Japan. Japanese Consul General asks that the Council immediately take steps with a view to maintaining peace and order in the Settlement at Shanghai by prohibiting this campaign and dissolving the associations carrying it on, by prohibiting the publication in the newspapers of instructions sent by Chinese agencies regarding the campaign and by confiscating newspapers (including those under foreign registration) which publish such, and by prohibiting the display of the Chinese national flag.

It is true that this campaign has been conducted at Shanghai and that it has been given wide publicity in the Chinese language press.

It has not yet been determined what action the Council will take on the Japanese communication but I know that officials of the Municipal Council feel confident that the Chinese, sheltering behind the foreign position here, are creating a serious and difficult situation in the International Settlement and French Concession and this view is shared by responsible foreign residents notwithstanding their personal sympathy with China in the present conflict.

The French Concession authorities recently prohibited display of the Chinese national flag and had to resort to firm police measures to enforce the order. There was resentment in Chinese circles and the matter is not yet settled.

Repeated to Chungking and Peiping, by air mail to Tokyo.