124.936/12–1045: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in China ( Robertson )

1993. Following are answers to your 2133, Dec. 10, 4 p.m.

Under Communications Act 1934,41 Foreign Governments and their representatives in U. S. are not allowed to operate radio transmitting stations. This prohibition does not apply to radio receiving stations.
On account of disrupted communications in Europe and the Near East a number of American Embassies have been operating a radio transmitting station usually with facilities offered by the War Department. This is notably the case in Warsaw, Sofia, Tehran, Baghdad, Addis Ababa, Budapest, Vienna, Cairo and Belgrade.
On account of unsatisfactory radio service between the U. S. and U. S. S. R., War Department operates 24 hour radio teletype service between Washington and Moscow with relay via Algiers. As we were not in a position to offer reciprocity, arrangements made whereby fifty percent of time on circuit was allocated to Russians with a direct tie-line between Pentagon and Russian Embassy here.
In view of the fact that ordinary commercial communications between the United States and China are still unsatisfactory, due to war conditions in China, this Government is most anxious to maintain, for the time being, communications between Washington and its missions in Chungking, Nanking and Shanghai.
This obviously is purely a temporary arrangement pending improvement in existing commercial communications.

In the light of the foregoing you are requested to take this matter up again with Chinese authorities and express hope that they will acquiesce in a plan which by assuring rapid communications between Department and its representatives in China can only be helpful to Sino-American relations. In your discretion and after discussing the matter with Naval Attaché you might as a last resort suggest possibility of following precedent established in case of US and USSR army circuit. This would place plan on a cooperative basis and assure Chinese Embassy rapid communications with its Government at home.

  1. Approved June 19, 1934; 48 Stat. 1064.