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

No. 413

Sir: The Department has received from the American Vice Consul in charge at Changsha a copy of his despatch to the Legation No. 651, of December 13, 1926, entitled “Political Situation in Hunan”.44 The Department has found this despatch exceptionally well written and informing, and desires that its commendation be conveyed to Mr. Vincent.

The Legation’s attention is invited, however, to two passages to be found on page 7 of the despatch, in which Mr. Vincent announced his intention of obtaining American naval armed guards for the protection of American property after such property is no longer in use and presumably has been vacated. The Department is of the opinion that the employment of American naval detachments in this manner is neither feasible nor, as a general rule, warranted, and desires that you should so inform Mr. Vincent. American owned property that has been vacated by American citizens and closed should be placed formally under the protection of the authorities in control, with the statement that the latter will be held responsible for the preventing of unauthorized entrance and the inflicting of any damage.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Leland Harrison

[Assistant Secretary of State]
  1. Not printed.