893.102S/2437: Telegram

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

205. Your 356, March 28, 3 p.m.90

Unless you perceive objection, the Department desires that you inform your British and Japanese colleagues that this Government regrets that discussions with regard to a proposed change in the form of the government of the International Settlement had apparently reached a very advanced stage before the American authorities were informed of those discussions.
In view of the advanced stage to which the discussions have progressed, the Department would not interpose objection to the proposed commission form of government with membership in accordance with the first of the two counter proposals offered by the Japanese Consul General, namely, 4 Chinese, 3 Japanese, 3 British, 3 Americans, 1 German and 2 “neutrals”, if in your judgment, in the light of the local situation, such course is expedient. The formation of the proposed commission would, of course, be contingent upon the consent thereto by the Chinese Government at Chungking. In as much as the International Settlement is made up largely of a former British concession and of an area allocated for the formation of an American settlement, it would of course seem appropriate that the chairman of the proposed commission be an American citizen or a British subject.
In the event of the formation of the proposed commission form of government, the Department would expect the American Consul General at Shanghai to be consulted from the beginning in regard to the formation of the commission and in regard to the granting and definition of authority to the commission. In this connection the Department suggests that the two persons inappropriately described as “neutrals” might be selected by the consular body as a whole.

Sent to Shanghai. Repeated to Chungking, Peiping.

  1. Not printed.