The Consul General at Peiping (Myers) to the Ambassador in China (Stuart)20
Sir: I have the honor to report that on March 14, 1947, a mass demonstration numbering some 80 to 100 thousand persons was held under Kuomintang auspices in the main court of the Forbidden City in protest against Foreign Minister Molotov’s request that the China [Page 618] situation be included on the agenda of the Foreign Ministers’ Conference now under way in Moscow.
The demonstration was primarily anti-Soviet and only secondarily anti-Communist. According to eye-witnesses, no anti-American or generally anti-foreign sentiment was expressed, a fact which is believed due to the rejection by the other powers represented at Moscow of Molotov’s suggestion. It is reliably reported that the Deputy Chief of the Kuomintang in Peiping began organizing the demonstration when Molotov’s request was announced and that he decided to go through with his plans despite the other foreign ministers’ disapproval of the request. It can be assumed that he was influenced in this decision by the agreement of the American and British delegates at Moscow to discuss Chinese problems informally and outside the agenda of the Conference.
The schools and universities suspended classes in order that the students might participate in the demonstration. The strongly pro-Kuomintang universities such as Chungkuo, Chungfa and Huapei furnished the largest student contingents. A bus sent to pick up students at Tsing Hua returned almost empty and decorated with slogans derogatory to the demonstrators. The bus was later literally demolished and the driver severely beaten by the angry participants who did not, apparently, appreciate the students’ sense of humor. It is believed that beggars and coolies were paid to attend in order to swell the crowd. Many small children also took part. The demonstration, which was orderly, displayed prepared posters and shouted slogans apparently rehearsed. The shibboleths employed included “Down with the robber Molotov,” “Down with Soviet Russia,” “Down with the Communist Party,” “We demand return of Dairen and Port Arthur,” “We demand indemnity for things taken from Manchuria” and “Let us oppose foreign interference in the internal affairs of China.” Boy and Girl Scout contingents in the subsequent parades were supplied with adult leaders who read from lists slogans which were then chorused by the Scouts. The heat generated while in the Forbidden City did not last, however, and the parades, one of which meandered through the Legation Quarter, were not impressive.
The Consulate feels that a demonstration so obviously inspired should be interpreted as indicative of official Kuomintang policy rather than of public sentiment, despite the fact that such a field day undoubtedly whipped up some temporary feeling on the part of the people.
- Copy transmitted to the Department by the Consul General at Peiping; received April 1.↩