The Ambassador in China ( Stuart ) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 10—12:20 a.m.]
2072. Department’s attention directed to December 7 Ben Welles’ New York Times interview with Li Li-san at Harbin in which Li is quoted as stating that Communists have refused to permit Clubb to proceed Harbin because of “present policy of United States which provides assistance Chiang to fight civil war”.
In reply to question whether any other foreign powers would be permitted to open or maintain diplomatic or consular representation in Communist territory, Li stated “any power wishing to do so would be welcomed provided such power acted in accordance with Communist laws. Permission, however, would have to come from Yenan”.
In this latter connection the Acting Danish Consul, who is also Harbin manager for East Asiatic Company, has been recently expelled from Harbin. He was offered choice of withdrawing via Siberia or via Changchun; with assistance of Executive Headquarters aircraft he elected latter course. Nominal Communist explanation was that Danish Consul was at Harbin without proper documentation. Danish Minister called on Communist delegation Nanking to clarify position Danish Consul, Harbin, and delegation stated they would communicate with Communist authorities Harbin. Judging from my own experience in dealing through this channel on behalf of Clubb, it is not believed that any favorable result can be obtained and Embassy is forced to conclude that presence of official observers in Communist areas, particularly in Manchuria, will be discouraged.
In same interview, Li Li-san is reported by Welles to have stated that the Soviet Consul General at Harbin was not recognized officially nor was there any official liaison between Communist headquarters and Soviet Consul General, that all matters were handled by Harbin city administration.