393.0015/88: Telegram

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

108. Reference my 107, February 8, 6 p.m.,85 regarding foreigners at Kuling. I have received a letter from the Japanese Consul General referring to the postponement of time limit for evacuation of foreigners at Kuling arranged at the instance of British Ambassador at Tokyo and saying that the Japanese military authorities are very anxious to know whether the American officials at Kiukiang are authorized to deal with the Japanese authorities there to arrange for evacuation of third power nationals at Kuling without obtaining instructions from their superior authorities, and if not it is hoped that such authorization will be given so that arrangements for evacuation may be made smoothly between the Chinese-Japanese authorities.

In reply to an oral inquiry of the same tenor last evening from the Japanese Consulate General, we replied to the effect that the United States Navy Commander and Vice Consul Davies at Kiukiang were there to give assistance to American nationals and that I assumed that in their discussions with the Japanese authorities they would refer for instructions to their higher authorities in any instance in which they deemed it necessary or desirable.

In my opinion what the Japanese have in mind is probably an effort to persuade the American and British officers at Kiukiang to order evacuation of their nationals from Kuling.

Repeated to Chungking, Peiping, Tokyo and Hankow. Commander-in-Chief informed.

  1. Not printed.