The Secretary of State to the Vice President of the United Christian Missionary Society at Indianapolis (Stephen J. Corey)

Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your letter of April 3, 1929,51 asking advice with regard to the maintaining of two missionaries and their families at Batang, in the Province of Szechwan near the Tibetan border, and with regard to another missionary and his family who are probably now in Shanghai ready to proceed up the Yangtze River on their way to Batang.

Basing its opinion on information received from official and other sources, the Department feels compelled to inform you that it considers that an attempt to maintain American missionaries at Batang at the present time will unavoidably be attended with great difficulty and with risk to the missionaries themselves. The menace of war and of lawless conditions has for some years been present in Western Szechwan and the Department is unable, from the information now available to it, to expect any substantial improvement in conditions there in the near future. The Department is, of course, ready at all times to utilize the agencies at its disposal in an effort to safeguard and promote the interests of American citizens and organizations abroad. In the present instance, however, the Department cannot but recognize the possibility of dangers threatening American citizens who continue to reside in Batang of a character that no measures open to the Department might be able to avert or mitigate. Disordered political conditions increase, as a rule, the expense and difficulty of transporting supplies and funds to remote localities like Batang. The Department is of the opinion that the residence of American citizens at Batang will continue to involve considerable risk until material improvement has taken place in political conditions in Szechwan.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Stanley K. Hornbeck

Chief, Division of Far Eastern Affairs
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