393.1111 M Nielsen, Niels/36: Telegram

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

582. Legation’s 578, July 7, 10 a.m. Following confidential from Myers in his July 6, 11 a.m.:

“Mrs. Nielsen’s letters indicate that the bandits fear that the attempts of the authorities to negotiate are not sincere and that [Page 724] she has been unable to find acceptable go-betweens to carry on negotiations.

Two [Through two] reliable messengers she occasionally receives messages from the bandits and her husband who is hidden in mountains in an adjacent district.

In view of the circumstances of the case [she] believes the payment of a reasonable ransom, negotiated under the supervision of the mission, offers the best prospect of securing release of captive. The Danish Mission is ready to send a suitable man to Siuyen to assist in this matter provided the consent and protection of the Japanese authorities can be secured.”

Following confidential from Myers in his July 5, 3 p.m.:

“Military authorities in Mukden have no news regarding the case and all indications are that they have done nothing since June 6th. They stated they do not even know where the bandits holding Nielsen are. There is no doubt that the Japanese are preoccupied with the serious bandit situation and preparations for a drive in the Tungpien area scheduled to start on July 7th.

It is impossible to do anything in regard to this case without the approval and assistance of the Japanese military authorities. Therefore, I strongly recommend that the Legation authorize me to visit Hsinking for the purpose of attempting to induce Marshal Muto to take definite steps in the case or to cooperate fully with the Mission in conducting negotiations. The prospects of the early release of the captive seem extremely slight with which opinion Mrs. Nielsen concurs.

Referring to the Legation’s telegram of April 18, 3 p.m., the assignment of a special representative of the Legation to assist this office may be helpful in bringing pressure to bear on the Japanese military authorities.”

With the Department’s approval I propose to instruct Myers to proceed to Hsinking accompanied by a representative of this Legation to lay the matter before Marshal Muto to whom I propose to send personal message.
Danish Minister has informed me of the interest of his Government in the case and I am keeping him fully informed.