393.1121 McMillan, Archibald/1–1745

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

No. 86

Sir: Referring to the Department’s telegram no. 1712, December 28, 1944, instructing the Embassy to make formal, written complaint to the Minister of Foreign Affairs against both the procedure and verdict in the trial for manslaughter of Mr. Archibald M. McMillan, an American citizen, I have the honor to enclose6 copies in both English and Chinese of the Embassy’s formal note to the Foreign Office on this subject dated January 5, 1945.

There is also enclosed a copy of a letter dated December 31, 1944, from Mr. McMillan to the Appellate Court of Chungking in which he amplifies his reasons for appealing to the decision of the Experimental District Court of Chungking (Embassy’s telegram no. 60, January 15, 9 a.m.).

Summary of Letter. Mr. McMillan points out the confusing statements in the judge’s decision and the apparent failure of the judge to visualize the true circumstances of the accident. He states that the accident was caused in the first instance by the unidentified driver of the Chinese army truck whom he accuses of criminally negligent driving in trying to force McMillan off the road; he urges the court to apprehend and examine the unidentified driver or state that the crime was committed by a “person unknown” instead of making McMillan the “scapegoat”. The deceased might still have escaped injury even after the criminal negligence of the unknown driver, McMillan claims, if she had not suddenly shifted her bundle of sugar cane so that it projected perpendicularly into the road. McMillan urges that the doctors at both hospitals to which the deceased was taken be summoned to court for examination of their occupational competence in their care of the patient. McMillan states that he desires to give a higher court the opportunity through his appeal to rectify the original verdict “arrived at perhaps through misunderstanding due partly to our failure to make our points and case sufficiently clear”. He also requests the court’s permission to use an interpreter of his own choice. End of Summary.

As previously stated to the Department, it has been reported in the press that McMillan’s appeal will be heard in the First Branch of the High Court on January 23. An Embassy representative plans to be present at that time and future developments in this case will be fully reported to the Department.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
George Atcheson, Jr.

Counselor of Embassy
  1. Enclosures not printed