The Consul at Peiping (Touchette) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 20—3:05 a. m.]
312. Today’s papers reported Peiping special criminal court has issued warrants of arrest for stated number Peiping students considered subversive elements. Number of local students named as professional students in list published in papers total 250. Appears warrants were issued for arrest of entire number. List includes 71 students Peita, 35 Normal College, 31 Yenching, 31 Tsinghua, 24 Fujen, 11 Chaoyang, 4 Chungfa, 16 Huapei, 7 Railway College, 12 China College, 8 Fine Arts College.
Several universities surrounded by police this morning and arrest warrants served to university administrations. Yenching and Tsinghua students not permitted leave campuses and no telephone communication all day with these two universities. Police reported acting restrained fashion. No reports yet of students–police clashes. [Page 421] General consensus list published way out of date. Hu Shih59 states of 71 Peita students named 43 already expelled for leaving university with [without?] notification. He says it presumed they already in Communist territory. Yenching professor states several on Yenching list in liberated areas year ago, one is new Yenching faculty member and one employed by USIS60 Peiping. Quite apparent list is sloppy job.
Rigney, rector Fujen, states university told police they did not assume responsibility for turning students over but would not prevent police making arrests themselves. Hu Shih informs us Peita authorities advising accused students now in Peiping to appear in court tomorrow to answer summons. Peita will provide them legal defense.
Impossible prophesy present time possible repercussions this move, but timing during vacation would seem to preclude large scale student demonstrations.
Sent Department 321; repeated Nanking 464, Shanghai, Mukden and Tientsin.