893.801 Search/11: Telegram
The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 6—10:35 a.m.]
179. Department’s 83, March 4, 6 p.m.
1. Representations have been made along the lines suggested.
2. Following from Hankow:
“March 4, 3 p.m. My March 1, noon. U. S. S. Oahu has returned to Hankow and commanding officer states that Director of Hunan Rice Bureau assured him that no search of Standard Oil Company vessels would be made until further instructions from provincial authorities are received and that if searching is resumed at all the search party will consist of one civilian inspector and two civilian assistants, all with identifying insignia and all unarmed. The trouble is largely due to the lack of coordination between Rice Bureau and customs and if the practice is resumed at all search will probably be done in an orderly fashion. The statement of General Ho Chien, referred to in my March 3, 3 p.m.,74 is completely at variance with the facts, which are that the armed search was being made for the purpose of enforcing the embargo against the shipment of rice out of Hunan.”