The Consul General at Shanghai ( Cabot ) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 29—8:04 a.m.]
2566. Mayor Wu4 today invited me to call (I thought urgently) and raised with me the procedure for transfer of power in Shanghai to Communists in event this became necessary.
He said that battle around Pengpu was undecided but that if it went against Nationalists this question would shortly arise. He pointed out that city officials, notably police officials, would not remain until Communists took over since they would face almost certain liquidation and that if they did not remain there would probably be a considerable period of chaos in the city dangerous to Americans and our interests. He mentioned having discussed this with John Keswick of Jardine, Matheson Co., a leading Britisher here. Mayor Wu suggested that such chaos might be avoided by international action. To this end he proposed on his personal responsibility that, through some international agreement, international forces be landed in Shanghai strictly for the interim period to assure order during the evacuation of the Nationalists and transfer of power to Communists. He made it clear he was not seeking unilateral action on our part. As his plan developed, it became clear he envisaged some sort of an appeal to the consular body to be followed by the landing of forces provided by English, French and possibly Soviets since these are only countries which would have forces available in this area.[Page 358]
I said that I thought it very doubtful whether US would agree to land armed forces in Shanghai for this purpose and pointed out numerous practical difficulties which would arise, for example, to secure international agreement and in connection with timing. I said that I was slightly more optimistic that we would participate in some international action to secure an orderly transfer of power provided the use of our armed service was not involved. He insisted that armed forces would be necessary. I made it clear that I was speaking personally and said that all that I could do was to refer his proposal to Washington. Would appreciate early instructions.
Sent Nanking 1933, repeated Department 2566.
- K. C. Wu, Mayor of Shanghai.↩