393.1162/22: Telegram

The Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State

299. My 290, July 19, 1 p.m. Following from American consul general at Canton:

“July 22, noon. Deed to Wuchow hospital contains clause giving Chinese authorities the right in the event of necessity to use property temporarily for military purposes; and, under these circumstances, I have not felt free to demand immediate evacuation of the hospital but suggested to Eugene Chen that he advise the Wuchow authorities to ask American staff to return and to reopen hospital immediately on the old basis. Chen consented to do this and will give me a reply as soon as an answer can be obtained from Wuchow. Baptist mission also approves of the plan and will arrange to reopen hospital if Chinese vacate and promise full protection and cooperation in the future.

“If Wuchow authorities fail to accept the proposal outlined above and/or do not agree to evacuate in a reasonable time, I recommend that the consulate general and the United States naval authorities take such action as may be necessary to clear hospital of Chinese. Clause in the deed, though rather obscure, cannot possibly be construed to give Chinese the right of permanent occupation, and, as American Baptist mission has expended $300,000 on this property, I believe failure on our part to prevent its seizure would be tantamount to inviting Chinese to take over other valuable missionary enterprises in this area.”