124.936/5–749: Telegram

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

955. Aliens Affairs Office has informed Embassy it cannot accept communications on Embassy letterhead or signed by officers using either diplomatic or consular title. Will accept only communications on plain paper signed by officer in “personal capacity”. Obvious intent is to avoid even tacit admission that diplomatic personnel have any special status other than that which may be accorded “foreign nationals” in general. Our refusal to adopt prescribed procedure would in all likelihood close only channel so far available for negotiating local problems. Would our acceptance this procedure, in Dept’s opinion, prejudice our position, already stated orally to official of Aliens Affairs Office, that diplomatic missions have special position, universally recognized under international law even where diplomatic relations may not exist between governments involved? We will withhold further communications to Commies pending Dept’s reply.

Sent Department; repeated AmEmb Canton 367, Shanghai 519.