The Second Secretary of Embassy in China (Stevens) to the Secretary of State 76

No. 3

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a translation of an article77 in the February 16, 1944 issue of the Chengtu Hsin Hsin Hsin Wen in regard to an order by the National Military Council in Chungking prescribing five rules for entertaining foreigners in China.

The Department’s particular attention is invited to rule (2) which, it would appear, aims at shielding credulous newcomers from the counsel of their own countrymen, thus making them more amenable to Chinese propaganda.

One instance of the effect of this order, or of the complex which lies at the back of it, has come to the attention of this office. Dr. Claude E. Forkner, [Page 26] Director of the China Medical Board, informed me that he incurred the displeasure of certain Chinese officials by taking up temporary residence here at the home of a foreign missionary on the campus of West China Union University.78

The action of the National Military Council in dealing with a matter of this kind is further evidence that the powers of this council are being liberally interpreted. Aside from its purely military functions including espionage, it now deals, through its various agencies, with education, social affairs, relief work, propaganda, and economic matters.

Respectfully yours,

Harry E. Stevens
  1. Approved by the Ambassador in China for transmission to the Department.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Marginal notation by O. Edmund Clubb, of the Division of Chinese Affairs: “An American missionary at Lanchow who entertained a visiting American was told that he should refrain in future from such action, that the official Chinese hostel (Li Chih She) had been established for that particular purpose. E[dmund] C[lubb].”