The British Embassy to the Department of State


The British Embassy at Shanghai telegraphed on September 10th to the effect that the Inspector-General of Customs had received a warning from the Chief Secretary of the Chinese Maritime Customs that the present situation with regard to the appointment of a Japanese Commissioner at Shanghai to replace Mr. Lawford on retirement would not be allowed to continue after the end of this month. Sir Frederick Maze is therefore faced with the choice either of conceding to the demand for the appointment of a Japanese Commissioner or of resisting it, and of being himself deprived of all effective authority.

It is understood that the Inspector-General recently made an appeal [Page 814] for advice and support to the United States Consul General at Shanghai, and His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom would be grateful to be informed of the attitude of the United States Government in response to this appeal. In particular, it is desired to learn whether it is considered that, in the last resort, Sir Frederick Maze should reject the Japanese demand at the risk of disrupting the Customs Service, or that he should acquiesce in order to save it. In the latter event it is further desired to know whether the United States Government would be prepared, if necessary, to support His Majesty’s Government in intervening on Sir Frederick Maze’s behalf with the Chinese National Government at Chungking.