893.801/6–2949: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Douglas) to the Secretary of State

2518. Depintel June 27, 10 a. m.32

Foreign Office states pressed by British shipping interests to clarify Government position in Chinese Nationalist closure ports north of Min River. Foreign Office informed Department that Foreign Office spokesman would probably make statement Commons Wednesday or [Page 1115]Thursday. As Coghill will not present British reply to Canton Government until 30th, statement cannot be made in Commons before Friday, if then.
Questioned re next step should Chinese Nationalist Government ignore US–UK replies and bomb and shell US–UK ships and properties, Scarlett33 stated that would pose new problem for legal experts. Would also bring forward clash between short term and long term policies and objectives. Short term contemplates rehabilitation Shanghai and revival British commercial and shipping interests by use British influence and persuasion but thereby contributing to Chinese Communist influence and power; long term contemplates prevention growth Communist power and in pursuit thereof permitting Shanghai and other Chinese cities to lapse into chaos and starvation. No decision yet.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Peter W. S. Y. Scarlett, Head of the Far Eastern Department of the British Foreign Office.