the minister in china （macmurray)to the secretary of state
〔Received december17—2： 32 a.m.〕
following from american consul general at Hankow:
"standard oil company vessel mei foo heavily fired upon13th between shasi and icnang,presumably by kweichow troops.no casualties.situation has suddenly become aggravated at ichang by appearance of the kwei chow and cantonese troops in that vicinity.general yang sen′s troops placed on yangze rapids steamers but subsequently removed at the request of commander of the elcano.considerable firing in the city and harbor at ichang but tenseness of the last few days somewhat relieved today.yang sen′s alignment now said to be uncertain.his troops restless and disturbances of past few days attributed to dissatisfaction with his wavering attitude.it is possibie that situation in upper yangtze will undergo decided change in the next few days,as cantonese and kweichow troops are within 30 miles of city but on opposite sides of the river．
Hankow situation has remained substantially unchanged for several days."