123 [Josselyn, Paul R.]: Telegram

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

1488. 1. We shall be pleased to have Josselyn and Howard stop at Chungking en route to Shanghai. (Be Deptstel 1330, August 25, 2 p.m.)

2. After consideration of the problem involved in sending additional Shanghai staff to that post (paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of telegram 1330), it is recommended with the concurrence of General Wedemeyer that the group proceed Trans-Pacific rather than via Calcutta, Kunming and Chungking. There appears to be no special advantage in Chungking route which is extremely congested, and moreover facilities for the accommodation here of group of that size are presently lacking.

Another factor to consider is that the Chinese Government has not yet indicated any date when foreign consular representatives will be permitted to reopen their offices. We have been informed confidentially and informally by the Foreign Office that the American group for Shanghai “will be welcome at any time” and that the Chinese would prefer that they proceed directly to Shanghai rather than across China. (Please see also Mytel 1444, August 24 [25], 3 p.m.)

3. In the meantime American military headquarters here have asked whether it will be possible for the Embassy to detail a group not to exceed five Foreign Service Officers to Shanghai to assist military in internee and related problems. We plan to make immediately available Hinke,20 who has just arrived, and possibly one or two other officers.

4. Date of beginning of transfer of Embassy to Nanking cannot yet be determined. Has the Department explored the possibility of having naval vessels proceed to Chungking as suggested Mytel 1403, August 20, 9 a.m.

5. The Chinese Government will interpose no objection to necessary travel on the part of Butrick and assistants, although it is believed [Page 1464] that definite plans for additional offices might well be deferred until the Shanghai office is again functioning.

6. We have requested information through Bern in regard to condition Shanghai office and equipment. It may be necessary at the beginning to arrange housing for group through army authorities Shanghai.

7. Inquiry will be made of American agencies here regarding possible availability clerical personnel.

  1. Frederick W. Hinke, Second Secretary of Embassy and Consul.