The British Embassy to the Department of State


Discussions have been proceeding between His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom, the Government of India and the Chinese Government regarding arrangements for the deportation from the United States to Ramgarh, India, with a view to their conscription into the Chinese armed forces, of Chinese seamen who have deserted their ships. These arrangements are in accordance with the recent law passed by Congress to amend the United States Immigration Law in respect of the deportation of alien seamen.

As will be seen from the attached copy21 of a letter from Mr. T. V. Soong to Lord Halifax, the Chinese Government are in agreement with the principle that Chinese deserters should be deported to India and there conscripted into the Chinese armed forces.

The Government of India have also agreed to the proposed arrangements, subject to the following conditions: [Page 809]

Individuals deported to India must be of sufficiently high medical category to permit of their acceptance in the Chinese Army.
No individual whose history is doubtful from the point of view of security should be sent to India.
Assurance should be given to the Indian Government before the first party of Chinese deserters leaves a United States port that definite orders have been sent to Ramgarh to provide a Chinese military escort for the deserters on their arrival in India and to escort them from the port of arrival to Ramgarh.
Deserters should be sent in batches of twenty-five to thirty-five at a time under intimation to the Government of India.

His Majesty’s Government would be grateful to the State Department if they could be empowered to assure the Government of India that the above conditions, to which they attach great importance, are acceptable to the United States authorities concerned and will be effected by them insofar as their co-operation may be necessary in carrying out the proposed arrangements. In view of the fact that the Chinese armed forces at Ramgarh are understood to be under the orders of General Stilwell,22 His Majesty’s Government would also be grateful if General Stilwell could be urgently requested to confirm that arrangements will be made to provide Chinese military escorts for Chinese deserters at the port of arrival in India in accordance with the third of the stipulations mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Commanding General, United States Army Forces in China, Burma, and India.