393.1111 Nelson, Bert N./168: Telegram

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

325. Department’s 113, April 6, 5 p.m. was repeated to Hankow with request for comments in light of latest developments in the Nelson case. Following from Hankow:

“The last communication from the Hupeh Provincial authorities, dated at the end December 1932, maintains that Nelson is still alive. It is believed however that the contention of the Provincial authorities is based not on actual knowledge but on the fear that admission of Nelson’s death might be followed by a demand for a large indemnity.

“It is my belief that while the Provincial authorities have at no time made any very strenuous efforts to effect Nelson’s release, it is extremely unlikely that sufficient pressure can be brought to bear to cause them to take more than the perfunctory interest which they have evinced throughout the case. However should some specific information be obtained it might be possible to force either the National or Provincial authorities to take effective action and with this in mind the Consulate General is continuing to make private inquiries, the result of which will be promptly communicated to the Legation.”

Pending Hankow’s further report the Legation contemplates taking no action.