The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 20—9:20 p.m.]
Your [Shanghai’s] November 15, 4 p.m. See last paragraph of the Department’s no. 985, November 14, 2 p.m., to the Consulate General. The Embassy shares the view that the matter is one for the Municipal Council in consultation with the consular representatives.
You will recall that the so-called defense scheme for the Shanghai areas was not called into operation at the outset of the Sino-Japanese conflict and that, in consultation with the consular representatives concerned and the Municipal Council, our Marines and the other non-Japanese forces simply acted in support of the police in the areas not involved in the conflict between Japanese and Chinese forces.
The Defense Committee, as contemplated by the defense scheme, was never formally or officially called into being and vested with the authority contemplated by the scheme. It seems to me that it is entirely without authority to allocate sectors to any forces at this time.
It is desirable that no Japanese forces enter areas of the Settlement south of Soochow Creek. Their presence there would certainly provoke [Page 586] increased terrorism endangering all foreign and Chinese interests. While such areas are not now entirely free from terrorism, such activities have been much more rampant in the areas under Japanese occupation.
I trust that any proposals to introduce Japanese forces into the Settlement areas south of the Creek will be opposed by the Council and the interested numbers [members?] of the Consular Body, who might well take the position that if support is required by the police in the area known as Sector C it may be forthcoming from the Volunteer Corps.
If the Japanese enter the area in the face of such opposition, I believe that the Council and if possible the Consular Body should record formal objection to such entry.
Sent to Shanghai. Repeated to Department and to Peiping.