123 Gleysteen, Culver: Telegram

The Consul at Dairen ( Paddock ) to the Secretary of State

108. Early evening April 12, two Chinese police and two Soviet soldiers arrested Vice Consul Gleysteen at point of land near Rokotan where we picnic periodically. He held 4 hours.

April 13 I discussed arrest with Soviet Consul. I agreed this not his jurisdiction but pointed out practice of Chief Soviet Kommandatura not answering my previous request for appointments. Soviet Consul said he would see regarding appointment. No word from him and today I sent formal letter to Soviet Consul reviewing arrest:

(1) Rokotan not restricted area; (2) Gleysteen there only to enjoy scenery; (3) Chinese policeman tried forcibly pull him from jeep; (4) Gleysteen taken first Povva prison nearby, then Chinese police same area, then Soviet camp in another part of Dairen, then Kommandatura headquarters; (5) not permitted telephone; (6) Kommandatura Soviet Colonel first interviewed him; then left and after hour returned with Soviet junior officer (obviously MVD); (7) this officer cross-examined Gleysteen in detail why he at Rokotan; (8) during examination, he said Gleysteen signalling with auto lights out to sea; Gleysteen said auto parked away from sea and besides lights off as still daylight; police ran up few minutes after he arrived; (9) signalling charge not pressed further and Gleysteen let go with excuse police protecting him “from being thrown in sea by bandits”; (10) in conclusion letter emphasized Gleysteen broke no regulation [Page 866] but held 4 hours; not allowed telephone; I said most serious aspect was signalling charge even though dropped; I asked for information which regulation Gleysteen violated thus leading to arrest.

It possible I receive answer but do not expect any.

Except for incidents of Consulate report wire July 26 “military activity at Lao-sun” and despatch 32 to Nanking August 26 “description of trip to Ta Ho Shang,”16 this only time Consulate officer arrested at Dairen. Consulate anxious not give impression this was major affair. Soviets may regard it as unimportant and routine.

However, Consulate feels incident clear-cut example of Soviets in wrong and that Gleysteen acted calmly, correctly.

Consulate would like Department instruct Moscow Embassy protest Foreign Office as matter record and principle unless this believed impolitic.

Sent Department 108, repeated Nanking, Embassy Canton 21, Shanghai 105, Moscow 59.

  1. Neither printed.