893.5151/6–2648: Telegram

The Consul at Shanghai (Pitcher) to the Secretary of State

1436. ReContel 1430, June 25,18 repeated Nanking as 1170. Morning press reported chaotic conditions prevailed in all commodity markets yesterday with prices recording up to 50% increases. Black market quotation US dollars at 10 a.m. today started at 4,700,000, an increase over yesterday’s closing quotation by 700,000. Shanghai is rumor-mad, according press. One rumor reported ConGen this morning Generalissimo being detained in north.

Following description situation yesterday given by China Daily Tribune: “As if some imminent danger had been in sight, as if radical change had taken place, as if pillars of nations had fallen down into [Page 371]pieces, as if this part of world had alone come to its ‘doomsday’, whole city was almost reduced to doubt, despair, fear, terror, and, in one word, confusion.”

Garrison commander Hsuan Tieh-wu at press conference yesterday reported by Tribune to have frankly admitted economic section garrison headquarters and economic section Shanghai police not sufficient check economic situation into which city being thrown and total economic collapse might face city unless most energetic preventive measures taken in time. He asked for combined efforts Central Government, local authorities and general public “to face situation squarely” and seek settlement current debacle. General also reported to have said stabilization economic situation must be basically effected through more rational distribution social wealth. China Press repeated [reported] him as saying he has made recommendation Nanking authorities [that] administration provinces south of Yangtze, educational and cultural organizations and economic affairs should be placed under control of military headquarters.

Pouched Nanking 1174.

  1. Not printed; it reported that the exchange rate in Shanghai had opened 20% higher on June 25 than on the previous day (893.5151/6–2548).