The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Shanghai (Cabot)
377. Subject Embs concurrence, Dept has no objection Dodd’s assignment as indicated para 1. Ref Contel 326 Feb 28 to Emb rptd Dept as 457. Re para 2, Dodds should be cautioned not to initiate exploration possible relief assistance Communist-held areas. (Sent Shanghai as 377, rptd Nanking as 326.) He could, of course, transmit Communist-initiated inquiries or proposals to US officials but, if [Page 355] approached, should emphasize he is able do so in private capacity only and should avoid giving impression through discussion Communist proposals that they will be accorded official consideration.
[As a result of direct negotiations between Navy representatives and Chinese Communists at Haiyang, the four marines were released on April 1. A report prepared by Captain George W. Carrington, U. S. Marine Corps, transmitted by the Consul General at Tsingtao in his despatch No. 36, April 8, summarized the account given by the four captured marines concerning their treatment as follows: “The Marines were skylarking when they were captured. For a few days they received intensive questioning and were subject to quite bitter handling. Thereafter, they were left alone, except for the continuous barrage of propaganda to which they were subjected. Every attempt was made to sell them Communism and to discredit the United States, but the Marines themselves say that they were not badly treated.” (893.00B/4–848)]