393.1111 Nelson, Bert N./84: Telegram

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

170. [From Perkins.] Hankow’s March 23, 3 p.m.23 Following from American Consul General at Hankow:

“March 25, 3 p.m. The three men mentioned in second [third?] paragraph of my March 23, 3 p.m., arrived at Macheng. Following telegram received from them yesterday:

‘Arriving Macheng first interviewed Vice General. He said, “This is not our business and we cannot do anything.” Later tried to see General Hsia but he refused an interview and sent word that what the Vice General said is just the same as though he had said it. More pressure from Hankow necessary.’

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I am bringing the above to the attention of General Ho Chen-chun today. It represents still another inexcusable instance of failure of military authorities to cooperate in this matter. The most urgent instructions from highly placed officials at Nanking direct to General Hsia Tou-ying at Macheng, Hupeh, and General Ho Yung-lung at Sungpo, Hupeh, might possibly stimulate these officials to activity.

One of the three men mentioned in second paragraph of my March 23, 3 p.m., has returned to Hankow and informed me that military authorities at Macheng state that they are under orders only to defend that area and that they have no orders to advance against Red brigands. If the Nanking authorities seriously desire to effect rescue of Nelson and Tvedt it would seem to be in order to issue orders that will put the military to work at Macheng and Sungpo. There are approximately 10,000 Government troops in the area, some of them within 8 miles of Kenchiatawu and most of them not more than 25 miles away.

Repeated to Nanking for the Minister’s consideration.”

For the Minister:
  1. See supra.