393.1111 M Nielsen, Niels/41: Telegram

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

612. Legation’s 604, July 19, 11 a.m. Following from Consul Chase at Mukden:

“July 20, 7 p.m. Boatner and I called yesterday on Japanese consular and military authorities regarding the Nielsen case. We called today on the ‘Manchukuo’ authorities concerned.

Japanese authorities do not admit having yet received any instructions from Muto as a result of Myers’ interview.

In all interviews I emphasized the necessity for more energetic efforts. The decision whether such efforts be force or negotiation to rest with Japanese and ‘Manchukuo’ authorities. I referred to a letter received the day before yesterday from Mrs. Nielsen reporting continuation of unsatisfactory conditions and the failure of the Mission’s private ransom negotiations, Nielsen offer of $10,000 having been rejected. The chief of staff railway guards said that the Japanese military would continue their efforts to effect Nielsen’s release but that the case was not of sufficient importance to warrant reenforcing the Japanese garrison at Siuyen. While opposed to ransom he evinced interest in the idea of cooperating unofficially with negotiations for ransom by the Mission and stated that Muto would be there in 3 days at which time a decision would be reached whether the Japanese Army will cooperate unofficially with such negotiations.

The Provincial Chief of Police agreed to despatch a special officer to Hsinyang to investigate and report on the most advisable course of action. (Here insert portion which follows by cable38).

I am inclined to believe that most promising course or action is to work for authorities’ unofficial cooperation with ransom negotiations by the Mission. Situation may be altered by developments in a few days which will be promptly reported to the Legation.

Information as to the approximate amount of ransom Danish Mission is prepared to offer would be of great assistance to this office.”

  1. See infra.