124.93/4–2949: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State

897. Guard placed at Chancery compound April 28 obstructed entry and exit American personnel for a time, but eventually permitted all who desired to enter or leave on foot if not carrying anything. Commissary supplies, bicycle, girl’s coat and handbag among articles prohibited exit. He obviously operating under orders which are neither clear-cut nor clearly understood and his actions of permitting or forbidding entry and exit were sometimes overruled by gang of unarmed comrades from same unit lounging on sidewalk across street. Jones succeeded in establishing system of checking in and out satisfactory to guards at Ambassador’s compound but was stopped at corner and turned back before reaching Chancery by several rude and angry PLA soldiers. Capriciousness of Communist soldiers compounded of ignorance, hostility to Americans and desire demonstrate authority.

In effort obtain passes to permit personnel go to and from Chancery to work or at very least statement of conditions under which we being confined and reasons therefor, Clough and Harris called at newly established Military Control Commission located former Executive Yuan building. They permitted to proceed inward after long discussion with officers in charge unit guarding Chancery. Commission building in great disorder more resembling barracks than government office and clerk who received officers said Liu Po-cheng, Chairman, and Sung Jen-chiung, Vice Chairman of Commission, had not yet come Nanking, newspapers’ statements to contrary notwithstanding. He took to some higher official letters containing lists of US Government property and Embassy personnel but after 20 minutes returned and said no one as yet able discuss question passes or confinement diplomatic personnel. Would not say when responsible official might be available. Clough will call at Commission again today carrying letter requesting audience for me with Liu Po-cheng as soon as latter reaches Nanking in order protest intrusion Ambassador’s residence. Hope by daily attempting trips to Commission even though likely to be barren of results to establish precedent with Chancery guards that Embassy entitled to free access to highest Communist organ in city.

[Page 732]

Sent Department, repeated OffEmb Canton 330, Shanghai 475.