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explanation of the juridical side of the matter which obviously must be gone into with great care. .

The next meeting of the Twelve was fixed for 4 o'clock tomorrow with the possibility of a public session on Friday at 10:30. It was expected that the Chinese reply would be received during the course of the day tomorrow.”

[Dawes ]


793.94/2899 : Telegram

The Chargé in France (Shaw) to the Secretary of State

PARIS, November 25, 1931–11 p. m.

[Received 11:14 p. m.] 805. From Ambassador Dawes: Following is communiqué issued by the League tonight. Shortly afterwards I gave out statement contained in my 798, November 25, 2 p. m.

"In the hope of establishing a resolution to be adopted unanimously, including the votes of the two parties, in conformity with article il of the Covenant, a draft scheme has been drawn up which deals separately with the withdrawal of the Japanese troops within the railway zone and the appointment of an international commission,

The substance of the scheme, which has been communicated to the two parties, is as follows:

The resolution of September 30th is recalled and reaffirmed. The two parties declare that they are solemnly bound by that resolution. The two Governments are accordingly invited to take all steps necessary to assure its execution so that the withdrawal of the Japanese troops within the railway zone-a point to which the Council attaches the utmost importance-may be effected as speedily as possible.

The two parties undertake:

To give to the commanders of their respective forces the strictest orders to refrain from any initiative which may lead to further fighting and loss of life, and to take all measures necessary to avoid any further aggravation of the situation.

The members of the Council are invited to furnish it with information received from their representative on the spot.

It is proposed to appoint a commission to study on the spot and to report to the Council on any circumstances which, affecting international relations, threatens to disturb peace between China and Japan or the good understanding between them on which

peace depends. China and Japan would each be represented by an assessor.

The appointment and deliberations of the commission would not prejudice in any way the engagement taken by the Japanese Government and correlatively the resolution of September 30th regarding the withdrawal of the Japanese troops within the railway zone.”



793.94/2903 : Telegram

The Chargé in France (Shaw) to the Secretary of State

PARIS, November 25, 1931—12 p. m.

[Received November 25—11:40 p. m.] 806. From Ambassador Dawes: Following is text of identic telegram addressed by Briand as President of the League Council this afternoon to the Chinese and Japanese Governments.

“On behalf of my colleagues on the Council I have the honor to make the following appeal to the Japanese and Chinese Governments. The Council is striving to achieve a peaceful settlement of the dispute but its efforts would be in vain if fresh engagements were to occur between Chinese and Japanese forces. The Council specially calls the attention of the two Governments to the situation existing in the Chinchow region. Already certain Governments have decided to send observers there. But it is for the two parties to give the commander[s] of their respective forces the strictest orders to refrain from any action which might lead to further engagements and further loss of human life. My colleagues and I rely on the will of the two Governments to take all needed measures for this purpose urgently."



793.94/2910: Telegram

The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State


PEIPING, November 26, 1931-1 p. m.

[Received November 26—8:55 a. m.] 1010. The Consul General at Mukden on November 25, 2 p. m., reports as follows:

Every indication points to an early drive by the Japanese against Chinchow for the purpose of encompassing the total diminution of Marshal Chang Hsueh-liang's power and the Nanking Government's influence in Manchuria. Preliminary moves are now under way to create the usual Japanese influence. Japanese military occupation of strategic centers will insure domination by Japan of the whole region and will enable Tokyo to await patiently and confidently China's acceptance of Japan's demands. With a free field, the Japanese efforts to establish and consolidate independent régimes will be strengthened; these independent movements are not spontaneous but fostered; and an autonomous Manchuria under the influence and protection of Japan seems extremely probable. The armed forces of these independent régimes are totally inadequate in the face of rampant banditry now in existence (restrictions on formation of such forces are being placed by the Japanese), so that Japan has a reasonable though self-imposed

pretext to continue military occupation of Manchuria pending a settlement of the situation to Japan's satisfaction,

For the Minister:


793.94/2911 : Telegram

The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State


NANKING, November 26, 1931–5 p. m.

[Received November 26–12:40 p. m.] Your 120, November 25, 4 p. m., to the Consul General at Nanking. The substance of this message I communicated this evening to Dr. Wellington Koo. I carefully pointed out that this was not formal advice but a friendly suggestion on your part. He made a note of what I said. Koo stated that for the Nanking Government to withdraw Chinese troops from Chinchow would be very difficult in the face of the popular attitude at present. He called attention to the fact that this city of Nanking is at this very moment full of thousands of students arrived from Shanghai, Hangchow, and other places, while still more are coming, all of them demanding that President Chiang Kai-shek sign an undertaking to proceed to the north and to stay there until the recovery of occupied territory. Koo referred also to the League's unwillingness to fix a time limit for the evacuation of Japanese troops from Manchuria, and he said the Government was getting such a demand from all sides in China. To agree to less here would involve great difficulties. Again Koo expressed himself as quite concerned over the movement to set up an independent régime in Manchuria; he said this was gaining ground.


793.94/2904 : Telegram
The Chargé in France (Shaw) to the Secretary of State

Paris, November 26, 1931–9 p. m.

[Received November 26–6:53 p. m.] 807. From Ambassador Dawes: [Paraphrase.] Sweetser's report is summarized as follows:

Today Briand confidentially reported to the Council's twelve members his very promising conversation this afternoon with Sze. The latter has received his instructions and understood they give him considerable liberty, though they have not been fully decoded.

Briand understands that China will be able to negotiate upon the basis of yesterday's announced general lines. [End paraphrase.] [Briand] also reported a conversation with Yoshizawa who left an aide-mémoire regarding the very serious situation around Chinchow and the necessity of immediate steps to obviate a collision. The aidemémoire said: “Such an eventuality would be particularly unfortunate at a moment when, thanks to the Council's efforts, a satisfactory solution of the Manchurian incident seems to be in sight."

In view of communications from both Governments on this subject it was agreed that those Governments with observers at Chinchow might instruct them to examine together the possibility of establishing a neutral zone in order to prevent a collision.

Scialoja announced that Italy was ready to send troops to such a zone. No immediate comment was forthcoming; Cecil later said he had consultation [consulted] his Government on the subject.

Finally, in the hope that agreement may be reached on the general lines announced, a drafting committee was appointed to meet tomorrow at 10:30 consisting of Briand, Cecil, Madariaga and Colban.



793.94/2912 : Telegram
The Chargé in France (Shaw) to the Secretary of State

PARIS, November 26, 1931–11 p. m.

[Received November 26-10 p. m.] 808. From Ambassador Dawes: I have just received the following letter from Drummond:

“May I draw your attention to a point in yesterday's discussion of the twelve members of the Council other than Japan and China which I think may have a special interest for your Government.

After it had been decided that the President of the Council should send a telegram to both the Chinese and Japanese Governments in connection with the threatening situation at Chinchow, the sug. gestion was made that the various Governments might in addition and on their own responsibility take individual action. Two possibilities therefor were suggested: first, the despatch of telegrams to the two Governments exhorting them against any action which would aggravate matters in that region; and, second, the despatch of as many observers as possible to the vicinity of Chinchow. The Council finally agreed that it would be very helpful if the Government of the United States felt itself able to take independent action on these lines at the same time as the other Governments."


SHAW 793.94/2921 : Telegram

The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State


NANKING, November 27, 1931–4 p. m.

[Received November 27–10:05 a. m.] Your 121, November 25, 5 p. m., to the Consul General at Nanking.

(1) The facts therein I communicated orally this morning to Dr. Wellington Koo. He thanked me for the information.

(2) He reverted to his statement about China's being obliged to insist upon a time limit for Japanese evacuation of troops in Manchuria, and he said the Government could not accept less than this, since Chinese public opinion was stirred up on the subject to such an extent that no Government could survive if it agreed to less.

(3) The British Minister informed me confidentially today that Koo in a conversation with him yesterday had suggested, while discussing the question of the necessity for an evacuation time limit, that a possible formula which might be used to save the situation would be as follows:

(a) A fixed period, of course as brief as possible but open to discussion.

(6) The inquiry commission to be left to decide on the adequacy of measures to protect life and property in Manchuria. Should the commission decide the measures were not adequate, it could recommend other steps, meaning the postponement of evacuation.

(4) In my opinion, from the viewpoint of China this question is a very serious one, for the Government's very existence depends, I am convinced, upon something definite being done regarding the period for Japanese troops to remain in occupied Manchurian territory.

(5) As to Chinchow, Koo informed me that his Government appreciated your friendly suggestion but felt, in view of the Japanese attitude, that Chinchow could not be abandoned without some guarantee that this area would not be occupied by the Japanese. He said the Chinese troops at Chinchow now were under orders to avoid any activities of a provocative nature, but they would resist if attacked.


793.94/2934a : Telegram The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Nanking (Peck)


WASHINGTON, November 27, 1931—1 p.m. 123. For Minister Johnson: You should send urgent instructions to the Military Attaché, who I understand now is in the Chinchow neighborhood, to cooperate fully with the other foreign military ob

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