893.00/3–247: Telegram

The Minister-Counselor of Embassy in China (Butterworth) to the Secretary of State

418. Pending the receipt of a detailed report from Changchun on the capture by the Communists of Assistant Military Attachés Rigg and Collins (ReEmbtel 408), the Embassy decided not to make representations to Nanking Communist representatives since it was hoped that there might be circumstances which would facilitate their early release thru local action. It was considered undesirable, on the basis of present scanty information to involve Yenan3 in the case of which it was most probably completely unaware. Any reference to Yenan would almost certainly have provoked consequences likely to delay settlement.

This morning the Embassy heard on the radio the War Department’s announcement, the reasons for which are obscure. In these [Page 1440] circumstances, I took up the matter with Wang Ping-nan,4 and asked him to request Yenan to issue instructions for the immediate release of Rigg and Collins. He agreed to communicate with Yenan forthwith.

Colonel Dau, Ex. Officer MA,5 is flying to Changchun March 3.

  1. Shensi location of Chinese Communist Party headquarters.
  2. Spokesman of the Chinese Communist Party delegation at Nanking.
  3. Col. Frederick J. Dau, Assistant Military Attaché and Executive Officer in the Office of the Military Attaché.