125.0093/554: Telegram

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

1156. Reference my 1063, September 19, 11 a.m. On September 28 I discussed informally with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs possible [Page 685]stationing of consular officers at Kweilin, Chengtu, Sian and Lanchow. He promised to consult Generalissimo. Yesterday the director of American Department of Ministry stated that Generalissimo had been consulted and informed Vincent3 orally as follows:

Kweilin. Since our Consulate General at Canton has ceased to function we might find it feasible to move that office to Kweilin temporarily, in which case Chinese Government would be agreeable.

Lanchow. Four years ago Chinese Government refused to accede to Soviet proposal to establish consulate at Lanchow but did agree that Soviet Embassy might station an officer of the Embassy temporarily at Lanchow. Perhaps American Government might follow same procedure, designating officer from Embassy staff to reside temporarily at Lanchow during the war. If so, it would be agreeable to Chinese Government.

Sian. Ministry feels that if Embassy has staff officer at Lanchow there would be no need for officer at Sian.

Chengtu. Stated confidentially that Chinese Government has found it necessary to refuse request of another friendly government (British) to open consulate at Chengtu and does not deem it wise to reopen the question.

Director American Department suggested that if arrangement proposed for Kweilin and Lanchow is agreeable, the Embassy might address the Ministry embodying the suggestions in form of proposal of American Government and Ministry would reply affirmatively.

I comment that the Chinese are not prepared to do more than concede to us what they have conceded to the British and Russians. I believe however that Kweilin and Lanchow will be adequate to our needs at this time. Service is still absent on his trip, delayed on account of lack of transportation. I believe Lanchow will prove preferable to Sian as former has occasional air service.

  1. John Carter Vincent, Counselor of Embassy in China.