393.1121 Wong Bock Yue/9: Telegram

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

507. Department’s telegram No. 206, June 23.

1. Following memorandum was sent on June 21st to local Diplomatic Bureau of Marshal Yen’s Headquarters:

“The American Legation is informed one Wong Bock Yue, an American citizen of Cantonese descent, has been arrested by the Chinese authorities at Peiping stating that it is therefore requested that immediate inquiry be made and if the report is correct that Mr. Wong be handed over at once to the Legation.”

This was supplemented by additional information later received from Wong’s daughter, that is, correct characters representing his name, his local address and that he had been arrested on June 16 at his home by representatives of the Peiping garrison headquarters. The garrison headquarters has replied through the Diplomatic Bureau alleging that Wong is a native of Kwangtung; that he was formerly a [Senator] and was recently engaged in secret activities in Peiping and Tientsin carrying on subversive activities among soldiers and railway workmen; also that he was attempting to procure certain assassinations. The Diplomatic Bureau has also quoted the garrison headquarters as stating that the Legation must prove Wong’s American citizenship.

2. His daughter has exhibited to the Legation his canceled departmental No. 3175–C of June 16, 1929 [1919?]. Consulate General at Tientsin informs the Legation that Departmental passport issued to him on application filed through Consulate July 9, 1925, was never called for and subsequently destroyed upon expiration of validity in December 1927. Since it is believed that the representations already made will probably prevent Wong’s summary execution, no further representations are being made pending Department’s instructions as to whether Legation should continue to assert Wong’s American citizenship and demand custody of his person.

3. His daughter asserts that Wong could, if allowed, disprove charges against him. He is at present being held incommunicado and is of course allowed no facilities to procure evidence for his defense.

[For the Minister:]
  1. Telegram in three sections.