121.67/1–2047: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State

116. Your unnumbered January 19 relay from Dairen12 has just been received at Embassy. Courier vessel is scheduled depart Tsing-tao January 22 to arrive Dairen forenoon, January 23, FonOff, Soviet Embassy and Soviet Consul General Shanghai have already been informed, in accordance with previously employed procedure, that unarmed naval vessel bearing diplomatic courier with official mail for American Consul General would arrive Dairen January 23 for stay not to exceed 48 hours. Reference telegram and this message [Page 486] have been communicated to Naval Attaché13 for transmission to Admiral Cooke14 for his information.

Embassy proposes to take no action. If Dept wishes present trip cancelled, it is requested that appropriate instructions be issued. Embassy considers Moscow clearance for courier vessel and official passengers approved by Embassy should not be lightly acceded to. In this connection, Embassy would consider official passengers to include British Consul, his wife and clerical assistant and families of American personnel at Dairen. In present instance, however, courier is only passenger.

Isolation of Benninghoff which existed before institution present courier service should not again be tolerated and it seems to Embassy that such will result from probable Soviet studied delays if permission for each courier trip must be obtained from Moscow.

Sent Dept 116; repeated Shanghai 62, January 20, 6 p.m. Dept please repeat to Moscow.15

  1. See footnote 10, p. 484.
  2. Capt. W. T. Kenny.
  3. Adm. Charles M. Cooke, Jr., Commander, U. S. Naval Forces, Western Pacific.
  4. Repeated to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union, January 20, 9 a.m.