393.0015/78: Telegram

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

89. I have received copy of letter dated February 1 addressed by the Japanese Consul General to the Italian Consul and Senior Consul for circulation to his colleagues requesting the evacuation of third power nationals remaining at Kuling. The communication together with certain “regulations” is quoted below.

“I have the honor to inform you that I have been requested by our military authorities to communicate the following to you.

In December last year, the Japanese Army showed its good-will to the third power nationals remaining at Kuling and afforded especial facilities for their evacuation. But there are still many who remain there in spite of the advice for evacuation, fully acknowledging that they do so at their own risk. According to our investigation there are 37 Britons, 12 Americans, 9 Germans and 7 others, totalling 65 in all.

In view of the activities of the Chinese forces in and around Kuling who disturb peace and order, the Japanese Army deems it urgent to conduct mopping-up operations against them.

In spite of the fact that they remain at their own risk, the Japanese Army, being sincerely desirous of ensuring the safety of the lives of third power nationals, hereby advises them again to descend the mountain according to the regulations of the Japanese Army set forth in the appended paper. The Japanese Army wishes to make it clear in advance that it cannot be held responsible for any damages and injuries which may be caused, on account of the mopping-up operations, to those third power nationals who continue to remain, because it is hardly possible to distinguish those nationals from the Chinese forces in operations so long as they are staying at the same place as the Chinese forces.

I shall be grateful, if you would be kind enough to take necessary steps at your earliest convenience to circulate the same to our honorable colleagues with the request that contents of the same be brought as soon as possible to the notice of the interested parties of the respective powers.”


1. The third power nationals remaining at Kuling shall fix a date and hour for evacuation and evacuate in the daytime before February 10, 1939.

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The fixed date and hour shall be notified in advance to the commander of the Japanese garrison at Kiukiang.

2. The road for ascending the mountain (Kuling, Lien-Hung-Tung, Kiukiang-Tao) shall be used for evacuating.

3. The third power nationals shall move at the time of evacuation in a group, clearly indicating their non-hostile character by carrying national flags or by other suitable means.

4. After evacuation they shall stay at Kiukiang or move to other places in accordance with directions of the commander of the Japanese garrison at Kiukiang.”

As this is a matter which concerns the Hankow Consular District I am taking no action here.

Commander in Chief75 informed. Repeated to Peiping, Chungking and Hankow: via airmail to Tokyo.

  1. Adm. Harry E. Yarnell, U.S. Asiatic Fleet.