The Consul General at Dairen (Benninghoff) to the Ambassador in China (Stuart)28

No. 67

Sir: I have the honor to report the following information, which has been obtained from several reliable sources during the past month, which indicates that the Chinese Communists have been intensifying their influence in the Dairen area. This development is believed to emanate from Shantung and Yenan. The Consulate General has reported previously that the Chinese Communists were not engaged in overt political propaganda in Dairen, and the meaning of the increasingly open activity of the Communists is not clear. They obviously expect to stay, and it is possible that they have been emboldened by the continued military strength of the Communist forces in Manchuria and by promises of Soviet aid, both political and military, for the purpose of assuring the eventual establishment of a regime in the North East friendly to the Soviet Union. In this connection, one Soviet officer was recently quoted as stating that China should be divided into two parts, south and north, the latter to be controlled by the Communists.

[Here follow details of Communist activity.]

It would appear that only during the latter part of 1946 have the Chinese Communists made a determined effort to get a permanent foothold in Dairen. However, because the railroad and port are both closed, it is impossible for them (or anyone else) to provide sufficient fuel and food for the population. Since they are more or less in control, they receive a large share of the blame for this situation, and consequently it is felt that their propaganda is not in general very effective.

Respectfully yours,

H. Merrell Benninghoff
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Consul General in his covering despatch No. 57, February 8: received March 25.