893.102S/1578: Telegram

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

9. Following is Embassy’s transcription of memorandum dated January 5 received from Foreign Office:

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received reports from various sources to the effect that the Municipal Council of the International Settlement in Shanghai has just issued a proclamation in which it is stated that ‘any person committing an offensive [offense] against an armed force in the International Settlement will be handed over after arrest to the armed force concerned for any punishment it may decide to inflict’.

The procedure of the Municipal Council in Shanghai as set forth above is, if the reports are true, obviously opposed to the system of government now in force in the Settlement as established by law, and cannot be recognized by the Chinese Government. The American [Page 221] Embassy is asked to inform the appropriate authorities to rectify the situation without delay. If the Municipal Council for the International Settlement in Shanghai hands over to any armed force whatever on the basis of the procedure set forth in the aforementioned proclamation any person over whom Chinese courts have right to exercise jurisdiction, the Chinese Government will regard it as an act in violation of law and the Government hereby reserves all rights in the premises to which it may be entitled.”

Sent to Department. Peiping repeat to Tokyo. Repeated to Shanghai.