The Consul at Hong Kong (Donovan) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 21—9:50 a.m.]
Four American aviators, Floyd Nelson, Frank Havelick, Hugh L. Woods, and James Barr have landed in Hong Kong en route to Canton in plane owned by China National Aviation Corporation. Although Pan American Airways has minority interest in corporation, the latter is Chinese controlled and operates commercially in China, It therefore [Page 522] cannot refuse to charter its planes even though charter is cover for military operations and it cannot resist outright requisition of plane by Chinese military authorities. The Consulate General cannot perceive how American aviators with plane can avoid direct or indirect military service if allowed to proceed to China, especially since Chinese National Aviation Corporation has canceled all its schedules.
In addition, pilot and mechanic, both Americans, of a plane belonging to Chiang Kai Shek6 have also landed in Hong Kong temporarily.
The Consulate General has provisionally requested Hong Kong airport authorities to prevent all six Americans from proceeding to China by air where, direct or indirect, forced or voluntary, service in air force appears to be inevitable. Request approval of action and instructions regarding possible withholding of passports if individuals disregard my instructions to keep out of China.
Please reply by commercial.
- President of the Chinese Executive Yuan (Premier).↩