493.11 Ekvall, Henry/97: Telegram

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

202. Legation’s despatches numbers 1927 of January 20, and 1963 of February 1740 concerning Ekvall case. In note dated February 22nd Foreign Office reports that Chi Yuan-wu, one of the actual murderers (see enclosure No. 4 with my despatch January 20th), was arrested on January 22nd, was tried, confessed crime and was executed on February 10th. Legation is requesting transcript of evidence at trial and other particulars.

Legation will continue to press for punishment of remaining murderers with the probable result that the Chinese Government will at intervals make unconfirmable reports of arrest and punishments of culprits and will then request that demand for indemnity be waived. In this general regard please see two paragraphs beginning bottom of pages 2 and 3, respectively, of my January 20th despatch, my despatch of February 17th and my telegram No. 1393, [Page 526] December 28, 4 p.m.,41 reporting that Peck had been unofficially informed that Executive Yuan in closed session had approved payment of exemplary damages. Legation’s last two notes to Foreign Office inter alia reiterated demand for payment but Foreign Office in its respective replies has seen fit to ignore such demand.
In view of the atrocious nature of the crime committed by Government troops I am strongly of the opinion that irrespective of alleged punishment of murderers in this case exemplary damages possibly in somewhat modified amount should be emphatically insisted upon and that recent evasive attitude of the Foreign Office should not be allowed to remain unchallenged.
In the absence of instructions to the contrary I assume that the Department has approved the suggestion contained in paragraph 4 of my telegram 65, January 19, 5 p.m.,42 that matter of apology be considered as settled.
The Department’s instructions are requested.