Page images

Japanese at some time. Such resistance, however, seems to be doubtful, notwithstanding a report to the effect that Han Fu Chu has recently informed Sung that he will support the latter in armed resistance.

8. These subordinates are presumably displeased that their efforts to prevent Hsiao Chen Ying's resignation from the mayorship of Tientsin under Japanese pressure have failed. Hsiao is now to [in] the Western Hills, and it seems to be definite that he will not resume his duties as Mayor. It is reported that he has resigned from his other offices also.

9. Chi Hsieh Yuan is now rumored as a possible successor to Hsiao as Mayor. Chi was Military Governor of Kiangsu at one time and is said to be an enemy of Chiang Kai Shek. Chi is understood to have been participating in the recent Sino-Japanese conversations at Tientsin. It is reliably reported that the Japanese have handed the Chinese authorities a list of 19 Chinese whom they do not wish to become Mayor of Tientsin.

10. The bombing incident of May 29 near Tientsin has not yet been made use of by the Japanese so far as known.

By mail to Tokyo.


893.00/13535: Telegram

The Consul General at Canton (Spiker) to the Secretary of State

CANTON, June 12, 1936-4 p. m. [Received June 12-10:32 a. m.]

Referring to my telegram of June 11, 10 p. m.,27 and to Nanking's telegram of June 10, 9 a. m., Southwest Political Council has made strong rejoinder to Nanking's telegram of June 9th. Southwest denies it is starting civil war, accuses Nanking of warlike acts against its own people rather than against the Japanese and urges that operations against Japan begin without delay. In second message Southwest requests Nanking indicate route to be followed by Southwest troops, that concentration points be established, and that Nanking adequately and continually supply Southwest anti-Japanese forces with the money, food and munitions.

2. Canton remains quiet but apprehensive.

Sent to the Department, Peiping, Nanking, Hankow.

27 Not printed.


893.00/13551: Telegram

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

PEIPING, June 15, 1936-4 p. m. [Received June 15-2: 15 p. m.]

304. Reference subdivision (e) of Embassy's 267, May 29, 4 p. m. 1. Demonstrations of some 4,000 students on June 13, at Peiping, including a considerable number of middle school students, were directed against Japanese aggression and Chiang. A few students sustained minor injuries when police attempted to disperse them. Observer states, however, that the police were unusually lenient with the students and that most of the students arrested, if not all, were released the same day. Some students attribute this leniency to their staff officers having been in support of Sung Che Yuan's army.

2. The Japanese Domei News Agency reports that Major Hamada, Assistant of Major General Matsumuro, called on the Mayor of Peiping June 13, and "drew his attention to the lukewarm attitude taken by the Chinese authorities toward the anti-Japanese student demonstrations" and that an official of the municipal government called on the Japanese Embassy on June 14 and apologized and pledged that measures would be taken for complete cessation of the anti-Japanese student movement.

3. There is evidence that certain of the students at the direction of officials of the National Government are attempting to gain control of the student movement in Peiping allegedly in order to injure reputation of the movement and make it ineffective. Such students are said to be in large measure responsible for the strikes which began today in several universities. According to some reports, radical students are opposed to strikes at present for the reason that strikes just prior to approaching examinations will lose sympathy for the student movement.

By mail to Tokyo.


893.00/13550: Telegram

The Consul General at Canton (Spiker) to the Secretary of State

CANTON, June 15, 1936-6 p. m. [Received June 15-2:45 p. m.]

Referring to my telegram of June 14 [13], 4 [5] p. m.28 in statement to press yesterday Marshal Chen denied that Southwest thrust into Hunan has as ulterior motive the overthrow of Chiang and asserted that it was solely for purpose of bringing about adoption of national

28 Not printed.

policy of active resistance to Japan; that the basis for agreement between the Southwest and Nanking is their joint adoption of such policy and that following such agreement adjustments in the Government may be effected by political means. Such statement from Chen considered as only confirmation of statement of his mouthpiece Yu Han Mo as reported in paragraph 2 of my telegram of June 13, 5 p. m.

2. Marshals Li and Pai apparently embittered and disappointed at failure of other provinces to show sympathy by action or word when the Southwest gave the signal and threw down the gauntlet to Nanking by advancing into Hunan. In statement to the Chinese Government, Li again stresses his conviction of urgent necessity for realistic policy of resistance to Japan; scornfully refers to futility of Chiang's plan to discuss matter further at second plenary session in Nanking next month; states that attendance of Southwest delegates at session has not been decided upon; and expresses his grievance at Nanking's disregard of the Southwest's loyalty and patriotism and at the manner in which Nanking's censors wrecked the Southwest's effort to make nation-wide appeal by telegrams to all the provinces. Pai has made no statement since Chen broke his long silence.

3. There is undoubtedly much genuine anti-Japanese feeling in Kwangtung and Kwangsi and a feeling that historically Kwangtung is looked to by the rest of China to initiate great national movements in times of crisis. However, such feeling is tempered with feeling of distrust of the good faith of present leaders. Many believe, however, that Southwest has maneuvered Chiang into a position where, if he attacks Southwest forces after they have retired to their provincial borders, they may assume role of martyrs suppressed for their patriotic ardor, this resulting in revulsion of feeling toward Chiang throughout the country.

4. Developments described in my June 13, 5 p. m., and above, have relieved tension generally although next moves of Chiang and the Kwangsi leaders are being watched with much interest and certain apprehension. Local currency has appreciated to 174 to the Hong Kong dollar but business in general remains dead.

5. Sent to the Department, Peiping, Nanking, Hankow and Shanghai.


893.00/13556: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in China (Peck) to the Secretary of State

NANKING, June 17, 1936-11 a. m. [Received 7:39 p. m.]

187. 1. We are authoritatively informed that: (1) negotiations are proceeding (a) on one hand between National Government and Chen

Chi Tang and (b) on other hand between Kwangsi leaders and the Hunan and Kiangsi Provincial Chairmen acting for the Government; (2) negotiations with Chen['s] representatives involving financial transactions and a current report that the Government has recently allotted him China dollars 13 million is "probably true"; (3) negotiations with Kwangsi representatives are being conducted at Hengyang, Hunan, and Hsiung Shih-hui, Chairman of Kiangsi, is now in Hengyang for this purpose; (4) despite the published statements of Southwestern leaders and controlled Chinese press that Kwangsi and Kwangtung troops which penetrated into southern Hunan have been withdrawn south of Hunan border, considerable numbers both of Kwangsi and Kwangtung forces remain in Hunan and Kwangsi troops are "digging in" at Kiyang; (5) when Sun Fo 29 visited Canton in May to attend funeral rites for Hu Han Min he narrowly escaped being kidnapped and held as hostage and reported plan of the Government to send, at present time, a delegation of high leaders to seek a settlement with the Southwest has been abandoned because leaders selected have declined the mission out of fear for their personal safety.

2. According to despatch from Hong Kong dated June 12, a British official concerned in the prosecution of Chinese suspected of implication in the attempted assassination of Wang Ching Wei and others, November 1, 1935, states that investigation has shown that the plot was designed to enable Southern leaders to seize political power and has "definitely established" that the Southwestern leader has accepted money and arms from the Japanese and the present Southwestern démarche is backed by Japanese who wish to divert attention from Japanese activities in North China.

3. According to a no less authoritative source, 18 gunboats of the Chinese Navy along the South China coast have been ordered to Nanking.

4. To Department and Peiping. Repeated to Hankow, Canton. By mail to Tokyo, Hong Kong.


893.00/13555: Telegram

The Consul General at Canton (Spiker) to the Secretary of State

CANTON, June 17, 1936-4 p. m. [Received 7:22 p. m.]

Referring to my telegram of June 16, 4 p, m.,30 protest of the Japanese Consul General and reply of local special delegates for foreign affairs published today. Reply gives assurances of protection of life

[blocks in formation]

and property of Japanese nationals, then bluntly states that "antiJapanese publicity and counter-Japanese movement are the genuine expression of the people's will as well as the natural reaction to Japan's actions since September 18, 1931 and that, as such, the political and military authorities of Kwangtung find it impossible to suppress them." Reply concluded with statement that the "effective measures", which the Japanese request the Chinese authorities to take, consist of a "fundamental revision by Japan of its policy and actions for the past 5 years." See comments in my June 17, 6 p. m.

Sent to the Department, Peiping, Nanking, Hankow, and Shanghai. SPIKER

893.00/13557: Telegram

The Consul General at Canton (Spiker) to the Secretary of State

CANTON, June 17, 1936-6 p. m. [Received June 18-12:40 a. m.]

Referring to my telegram of June 17, 4 p. m., it is to be noted that in spite of recent anti-Japanese demonstrations and propaganda in Kwangsi and in spite of the fact that the Japanese protest mentioned June 2nd manifesto and other unfriendly utterances of the Southwest Political Council, the protest was not addressed to the Council but to Marshal Chen and asked suppression of anti-Japanese activities in Kwangtung, no mention of Kwangsi being made. Tactful inquiries addressed by this office to local authorities and to Japanese Consul General indicate that similar protest has not been made to the Kwangsi authorities in which case Japanese action may be interpreted as possible further evidence of Japanese support of Kwangsi or effecting to divide Kwangtung and Kwangsi.

2. It is generally believed in well-informed quarters that situation remains fundamentally unchanged although probably relieved for a period which will end with meeting of plenary session in Nanking in July unless Nanking decides to take direct action against Southwest before that time. Marshal Li continues to denounce Chiang but there are reports that Li and Pai are much concerned [over?] constantly diminishing support from Kwangsi populace.

3. There are persistent rumors that Nanking has decided that Marshal Chen and his brother Chen Wei Chou should be removed from the local scene by promotion or otherwise while Yu Han Mou is to succeed Chen. In view of these reports, activities of Nanking forces particularly those of Chang Fa Kuei in Fukien are allegedly now being apprehensively watched by Chen.

4. Reports from bankers and other reliable sources indicate that much progress has been made in Nanking's negotiations for adoption

« PreviousContinue »