The Counselor of Embassy in China (Smyth) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 27—11:51 a.m.]
378. [To Shanghai:] Reopening Consulates Manchuria (Re your 123, February 26 and 125, February 2616).
Sturgeon and Chase should proceed to Dairen and Mukden, respectively, as previously instructed, each accompanied by one male assistant or secretary (to be supplied by Consulate Shanghai) and, if desired, by a representative of CID. No other persons should accompany officers. (Sent Shanghai 141, repeated Dept. 378, February 27, 5 p.m.)
For your strictly confidential information, which under no circumstances should be divulged, chief purpose of present trips is to determine whether or not Russian authorities will refuse entry of our consular officers into Manchuria. If Russians do not refuse entry, additional personnel and equipment can be sent later.
Chinese Foreign Office has been informed of proposed trips (see Embassy’s 119, February 20 to Shanghai, 339 to Dept.) and it will be informed of Sturgeon’s plans as soon as [apparent garble] is received from you. No notification will be made to Russians except, in case of Sturgeon, as directed in Embassy’s 134, February 26 (370 to Dept.),17 namely, 48 hours’ notice from merchant ship captain to Dairen port authorities.
Sturgeon and Chase should proceed without further delay as instructed. Embassy should be kept promptly informed by telegraph regarding their plans and movements. Chase should report, through Consulate General, Tientsin, his arrival there and date of departure.
Please repeat to Dept your reference telegrams and any further telegrams on this matter.