The Minister-Counselor of Embassy in China (Clark) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 11—7:20 a. m.]
Cantel 337. At this stage it seems matter small importance whether communications Communist officials omit mention diplomatic or consular capacity writer, Nanking’s 955, May 7, repeated Canton 367, Shanghai 519. Feel status of Consulates’ officers will be recognized later when Communists recognize need services they perform. Status diplomatic officers of Embassy, Nanking, it seems to me, is entirely different. They are accredited to Government unrepresented Nanking and it would seem difficult to establish under international law any claim other than that of safe conduct out of country and protection from molestation of themselves and property in meantime. For this reason I wonder whether Department has given consideration to desirability arranging for departure from Nanking, along with Ambassador, of all except staff sufficient functioning consular office and protection property to be left behind. I find it difficult believe that Communists will recognize any diplomatic capacity of officers remaining until such time as we have given de jure recognition to a Communist government. As there are no indications at this stage of intention establish government Nanking, consular officers Peiping would seem more likely channel any tentative discussions on de facto basis with Communists.
Sent Department, repeated Nanking 259, Shanghai 217.