The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China (Hurley)
1183. Dept is of opinion that the sending of a reply to Thackrey along lines indicated in your 1253, July 30, would be inadequate not [Page 1478] only in justice to Thackrey but also in the light of consistent policy of this Government.
Thackrey indicated in his telegram to you that he had been unable to ascertain what department or official of the Chinese Government was responsible for ruling against Berrigan’s admission to China and specific grounds therefor. We believe Thackrey entitled to such pertinent information.
Dept feels that in Berrigan case the same course should be followed as was outlined to you by Dept in regard to the case of Isaacs (Depts 1163, July 28). Dept cannot recognize the validity of the Chinese Government’s position that the Chinese Government may arbitrarily exclude any American correspondent who expresses criticism of that Government.
The American Government is a proponent of world-wide freedom of the press and is not, nor would it wish to be, in position to do otherwise than uphold the principle of freedom of the press. Pursuant to its adherence to that principle, notwithstanding that this Government also is at war, it has not taken any action to restrict facilities granted to or otherwise to interfere with Chinese news and other writers in United States who have written critically of American Government as, for example, Lin Yu-tang who, as is well known, severely criticized this Government in one of his books and who entered the United States on a Chinese Government official passport.
In the light of the foregoing circumstances and considerations please take up this matter orally with the Foreign Minister2 and make representations to him along the lines indicated above and in our 1163.
Dept will await results of your representations and receipt of information requested before communicating with Thackrey.
- Wang Shih-chieh.↩