893.00/8–2848: Telegram

The Consul at Peiping ( Touchette ) to the Secretary of State

322. Remytel 312, August 20 [19], Two lists Peiping names published August 20 and 21 totals 324 names. Leading university president indicates about one-half already left universities presumably to enter Communist territory. Sizeable number absent Peiping summer vacation. To date of students in Peiping 62 arrested, 19 appeared voluntarily at court, 66 announced to have fled. Virtually all latter from Peita and normal college. Not yet ascertained how many released on bail and how many detained in jail.

Lists include most students with known radical inclinations. However, most student government leaders also included regardless political beliefs. Apparent one of chief Government aims break backbone student organizations.

Unarmed police entered campuses and conducted searches. No violence reported; date of trials not yet known.

On basis events and private statements two leading officials, clear that Government desired less to arrest students than to frighten them into flight. Their escape facilitated by relaxation police cordons. Authorities then had university deans announce expulsion escaped students. Then able say such students obviously Communists since unwilling stand trial. Tactics also enabled Government accomplish objective of destroying existing student government organizations.

Prevailing student sentiment compounded bitterness and helpless bewilderment. Faculty and general public opinion expect clean-up result in far calmer school year.

Sent Department, repeated Nanking 476.