The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 23—9:40 a.m.]
512. Following from Nanking:
“October 23, 9 a.m. Bond43 this morning told me Bixby44 is very apprehensive that the Chinese military authorities may utilize planes of the China National Aviation Corporation for military purposes thereby affecting status of the American pilots. Such action might cripple the activities of the corporation if hostilities were to begin. To protect both the status of the American pilots and the American capital invested in the corporation, Bond inquires on behalf of Bixby [Page 364]whether I would be authorized to make informal oral request of the Chinese military authorities on behalf of American interests involved that purely commercial character of the corporation’s plane service be preserved in view of possible eventualities.
I respectfully suggest I might speak informally to the Minister of War and the Acting Minister of Communications. Please instruct by telegraph.[”]
I informed Peck October 23, 9 a.m. that I approve action suggested in the last paragraph of his telegram.