The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Shanghai (Lockhart)
457. Your 928, June 29, 6 p.m. The Department maintains the position set forth in previous instructions to the Legation and Consulate General that questions affecting the International Settlement should, as far as possible, be treated as local municipal problems and [Page 135] dealt with by the municipal authorities in consultation with the Consular Body and if necessary with available diplomatic representatives (see Department’s telegrams No. 34, February 18, 1932, 12 p.m. to Shanghai;74 and Nos. 359, October 31, 1932, noon;75 104, April 1, 1933, 11 a.m.,76 and 71, March 21, 1934, 5 p.m., to Peiping,77 and No. 28, January 11, 6 p.m., to Shanghai). However, in the event that it should become desirable to indicate the attitude of this Government on the question under reference, the following observations are submitted for your guidance:
The Department is of the opinion that the authority conferred on the Municipal Council by article VI of the Land Regulations for the “maintenance” of extra-Settlement roads dedicated to public use “for the health …78 of all persons residing within the Settlement” and the authority which, according to your paragraph 2, is understood to have been granted by the informal agreement with the mayor of Greater Shanghai, reasonably warrant the adoption of all emergency measures essential to protect the health of residents of the Settlement from the serious menace which the conditions of which you speak seem to involve. The Department is aware that the execution of those measures in a manner that will not encounter opposition from the Japanese may be a problem to be faced by the agencies of the Municipal Council.
Pending return of normal conditions in Shanghai and an opportunity to negotiate with the lawful authorities for the definitive adjustment of extra-Settlement road problems, the Department considers that it would be unwise and, in view of existing conditions, probably futile to deal with the extra-Settlement area on any other than an emergency basis for the protection of the health of the residents of the International Settlement.
Repeat by telegraph to Hankow and by mail to Peiping and Tokyo.