The Consul General at Shanghai ( Gauss ) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 9—4:10 p.m.]
47. Reference my No. 15, January 5, 9 a.m. Japanese Consul General called on me today and said that press reports are giving the erroneous impression that the Japanese are demanding complete domination and control of the Shanghai Municipal Council, whereas their desire is for closer cooperation and the sharing of responsibility in the present situation by an increase in the number of Japanese police, higher rank and increased authority for Japanese police officers, and the appointment of a Japanese Secretary of the Council who with the American Secretary-General and the British Secretary would participate in all important decisions and action. I pointed out that the Japanese demands which had been made known to the press by their own spokesman had created a most unfavorable atmosphere for any negotiations or discussions at this time, that the matter must be carefully studied, that some of my colleagues may be under the necessity of referring it to their home governments and awaiting instructions, and that in any event the Council itself is without authority heavily to increase the budget without the approval of the revenue payers, so that the matter is not one which can be settled immediately.
- I pointed out that the districts north of the Creek had not yet been fully returned to the administration and control of the Council and that there are press reports of repeated attacks on police officers and firemen by the Japanese troops. I suggested that these [Page 118] matters should be corrected by the Japanese and a better atmosphere created for the consideration of proposals for their increased cooperation in the Municipal Administration.
- I am personally of the opinion that it may be possible in due course, if a more friendly atmosphere can be created, for the Council to meet the Japanese in a reasonable measure as, for example, by appointing a Japanese Associate Secretary or Counselor to maintain liaison with the Japanese authorities, the appointment of an additional Japanese Deputy Commissioner of Police, and by some reasonable increase in the number and rank of Japanese members of the police force. We should object, however, to any proposal to place all districts north of the Creek under the control of Japanese police officers.
Repeated to Peiping and Hankow.