893.00/12–148: Telegram

The Ambassador in China ( Stuart ) to the Secretary of State

2381. In view large number foreign nationals including concentration of foreign refugees from North and Central China,5 as well as considerable foreign business interests in Shanghai, Department may wish consider desirability of mobilization international force for Shanghai to act as police force in protecting foreign lives and property in event breakdown local authority preceding Communist occupation (Shanghai’s 1933, November 29 to Nanking, repeated Department 2566). Such action would be taken only at invitation of National Government to consular corps Shanghai or other international body such as UN6 and only in concert with other interested powers. Should Mayor Wu’s suggestion seem feasible, it might be suggested that he prevail on National Government to make request officially.

If military situation develops rapidly as now appears likely and Shanghai is seriously threatened, chaotic situation envisaged by Mayor may develop soon and ComNavWesPac may feel obliged to take unilateral action sending US forces ashore to protect American lives and assist in their emergency evacuation. In such circumstances it would, it seems to us, be more desirable if an international force went ashore for policing purposes by prearranged invitation of recognized government of China. Given international character of force envisaged, it is highly probable that Communist armies would accept such arrangement. Finally, we are of opinion that purely humanitarian reasons urgently dictate some such action as proposed above.

Sent Department 2381, repeated Shanghai 1184.

  1. See pp. 947 ff.
  2. United Nations.