393.1111 Stam, John C./66: Telegram

The Chargé in China ( Gauss ) to the Secretary of State

81. Reference Legation’s 73, February 13, 11 a.m.; and Department’s 43, February 14, 6 p.m. The Legation forwarded copies of foregoing telegrams to Nanking with a draft note to the Foreign Office for the consideration of the American Minister.

The following report has now been received from Peck at Nanking:

“February 18, 5 p.m. Legation’s instruction of February 16.

Note enclosed with the instruction under acknowledgment was signed by the American Minister as of February 18 and has been delivered by me to the Director of the Department of European and American Affairs. The Minister for Foreign Affairs has not yet answered the Minister’s request for appointment and this method was taken to obviate delay.
I called the attention of the Director to the failure to ascertain person responsible for issuing orders for the murder of the Stams and expressed the Legation’s expectations that the effort would be continued. The Director expressed regret that possible source of information found in the executed soldiers was now closed.
I said the Legation would like to know why publicity had not been given to the detection and execution of four of the murderers and was told that it was because the Foreign Office wished to wait until the case was wound up. I asked whether the Foreign Office had the intention of releasing this information in the future and was told that the Ministry had no such intention unless the American Legation so desired. The Director inquired whether the Legation would like the Foreign Office to publish the news? I replied that I would consult the American Minister before replying.
The American Minister has directed me to take an early opportunity to inform Director Liu that if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes in the truth of the report that four of the Stam murderers have been detected and executed the American Legation sees no objection to the release of the information to the press.”