711.93/12–745: Telegram

The Acting Political Adviser in Japan ( Atcheson ) to the Secretary of State

193. Newspaper clippings received here indicate that as result Hurley’s statements some persons are linking my name with communistic activities. It would accordingly seem appropriate that I make the following statement to the Department for purpose of record and for the use of the Department if the Department should wish to use it.

1.
I have always been strongly opposed to communism (this does not mean that I do not favor cordial relations and cooperation between the Big Four Powers).
2.
While, as Department is aware, I at one time favored using the question of American aid as a means of pressing for a working military arrangement between the Central Government and Chinese Communists without the concurrence of General Chiang Kai-shek, my relations with Chinese Communists have been limited to the following:
(a)
In December 1934, I was sent into Anhwei Province to investigate the decapitation by Chinese Communist soldiers under General Peng Teh-hui of two young American missionaries, Mister and Mrs. Stamm.16 I was stopped at Wuhu by further instructions and remained there for some time keeping track of the movements of the Communist forces and telegraphing warnings to American missionaries [Page 731] to move from their path. I acted as American coroner when the Stamm’s bodies were recovered some 22 days after their murder and, following submission of my reports, the Chinese Government informed the Embassy that two of General Peng’s soldiers had been apprehended and executed for the crime.
(b)
I have met (and only casually) but one of the Chinese Communist leaders, Chou En-lai, at a large reception where our conversation was confined to saying “How do you do” and “Goodby” to each other. I have never discussed any political matters or talked with or even seen Mao Tze-tung, Lin Tsu-han or others.
(c)
During 1944 and perhaps early this year the Embassy at Chungking received from time to time letters from Communist or guerilla commanders at interior places reporting the rescue of forced down American flyers. Copies of these letters were sent to American Military Headquarters and we made replies thanking the various commanders whoever they might be for their services in behalf of American airmen.
3.
Except as stated above and Soviet officials whom I have met in the ordinary course of my work, I do not to my knowledge even have acquaintance with any Communist, official or unofficial, American or foreign.
Atcheson
  1. For reports of Mr. Atcheson’s assignment in connection with the murder of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Stamm, see Foreign Relations, 1934, vol. iii, pp. 479 ff.