893.24/1621: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State

4578. For Stettinius, OLLA, from Harriman. Your 4200, July 10. London Evening News, July 6, carried long story about supplies to China with opening sentences:

“Fraught with the greatest possibilities for the near future and post war years is the announcement from Chungking today that arrangements have been concluded for a new supply route to China via Persia and the Turkestan–Siberia railway. News of the Persian route comes as China is preparing to celebrate the Sixth Anniversary tomorrow of the Double Seventh, the seventh of the seventh month, when Japan began the war in 1937.”

United Press reporter came to this office for information regarding it. He was referred to Win Brown31 who told him that he had no information about it but pointed to a map which he happened to have (a standard map publicly distributed) and said he assumed that the story must refer to the roads and railroads shown on the map which met the description contained in the article. It was the London [Page 607] Evening News which broke the story of the route being opened through Russia and Brown’s conversation with the reporter covered nothing that was not publicly known. It never occurred to him that he would be quoted as an authority and I consider it entirely unethical for U.P. to have done so. I am so advising bureau chief U.P., London. In order that there may be no slip in the future I have issued instructions to my staff that no one shall see newspapermen on business except Phil Reed32 and myself. [Harriman.]

  1. Winthrop G. Brown, executive officer of Mr. Harriman’s mission and of the Mission for Economic Affairs at London.
  2. Philip D. Reed, Deputy Representative in London of U.S. section, Combined Production and Resources Board—United States, Great Britain, and Canada.