125.461/7–2346: Telegram

The Consul at Peiping ( Freeman ) to the Secretary of State

163. Following from Chase:

“Yesterday before leaving Changchun (for urgent dental work work Peiping) I discussed Harbin Consulate project with Li Min-jan,28 political advisor to Lin Piao.29 Li repeated what he told General Timberman30 CLN31 that Lin would welcome Consulate but had felt necessary refer Yenan. In reply my inquiry Li said matter was referred Yenan about July 18. He professed confidence Yenan [Page 1140] would approve but said Yenan would probably not act until approached by Embassy.

I endeavored ascertain what possible objections have been delaying Communists’ approval reopening Consulate and mentioned seeming advantages of its early reopening to Communists. I professed to see no objections and to agree re advantages.

I sounded Li re possibility Consular officer making immediate preliminary week’s visit Harbin to survey office properties and needs re furniture, repair heating, plumbing, et cetera. Li manifested no objection and said would telegraph Lin Piao immediately. I would recommend Embassy authorize such a visit in event Lin’s approval. If USIS report my transfer Nanking is correct, recommendation as to who should make visit should obviously come from Clubb rather than me. I should be very glad to go if desired (intending return Changchun in few days).

As of possible interest Embassy, Li volunteered statement that Communists were much disappointed in virtual termination American observer group Yenan, and implied post is needed there in view Communists’ desire for American investments and economic assistance Yenan area.”

Sent to Nanking as Peiping’s 134, July 23, 5 p.m., repeated Department as 163, Mukden and Mukden for info Siebens32 [at] Changchun. [Chase.]

  1. Known also as Li Li-san or Li Ming; he was a founder of the Chinese Communist Party and had been resident in Moscow from 1931 to 1945.
  2. Commanding Chinese Communist forces in Manchuria.
  3. Brig. Gen. Thomas S. Timberman, Director of Operations, Executive Headquarters at Peiping.
  4. Possibly, Chief Liaison, Nanking.
  5. Allen C. Siebens, Vice Consul.