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

No. 2285

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Embassy’s despatch No. 2098, January 31, 194420 and previous correspondence in regard to an attack on an American Army truck convoy near Milo, Yunnan on January 11, 1944, and to despatch no. 2001, January 7, 194420 and previous correspondence in regard to a prior attack which occurred near Iliang, Yunnan, on October 16, 1943.

There are now enclosed copies of further correspondence in regard to these two cases, as listed below.20

It will be noted that in his note of February 26 the Minister for Foreign Affairs presents no new information in regard to the Iliang attack and in regard to the Milo attack confines himself to quoting a denial of the assertation that the attackers were members of the Provincial militia. He does, however, express regret “for the repeated occurrence in that vicinity of such unfortunate incidents” and states that instructions have been issued for the replacement of the Magistrate at Milo and for the suppression and complete destruction of the bandits. In conversation with the Counselor of Embassy on February 26 the Political Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs explained in confidence that he himself felt “outraged” that these incidents should occur and that the Generalissimo was exercised over them, but that the National Government found itself in a very difficult position due to the delicacy of its relations with General Lung Yun, Chairman of the Yunnan Provincial Government.

In a communication of February 16, 1944 to the Consul at Kunming, translation of which was enclosed with Kunming’s despatch no. 34, February 18, 1944,20 the Yunnan Special Delegate for Foreign Affairs gives a somewhat more detailed account of the Milo attack. In that despatch Mr. Ringwalt expresses the opinion that in view of the unsatisfactory conditions in eastern Yunnan, further incidents of this nature may be anticipated, and suggests that, although the Special Delegate’s communication cannot be considered entirely satisfactory, no useful purpose would be served in making further representations to the local authorities. He adds that the Commanding Officer, Headquarters Y Force concurs in this suggestion.

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The Embassy is in agreement with this recommendation and, providing the Department perceives no objection, will consider both cases under reference as closed.

Respectfully yours,

C. E. Gauss
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