893.50 Recovery/2–1749: Telegram
The Consul General at Peiping (Clubb) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:25 a. m.]
250. Retel 246, February 17.80 Davis, ECA, just informed me that upon his return from lunch today he found on premises 19 Communists [Page 625]including 11 armed men who according CUSA representative Lee had announced they were going to remove ECA flour in question. Davis asked Lee inform Communists he would not endeavor prevent removal but would regard it as seizure. Lee agreed action was to be regarded as such in circumstances. At time Davis informed truck was process loading.
In circumstances, my comments contemplated Consular reference telegram in support my position cited that telegram would be largely superfluous. Express belief, however, that delivery flour without at least (1)—written statement from Communists re projected use (that [is,?] nonmilitary) to which flour would be put, (2)—written Communist receipt covering those supplies would have been contrary basic principles ECA (which views flour as American property) and would moreover have established dangerous precedent of handing over American Government property without formal communication or receipt which would have made more difficult position both ECA director Ivy81 Tientsin, and position other government agencies both Peiping, Tientsin. Position, I believe, should be that American property will not be surrendered to Communists against their naked unsupported demand. I would, therefore, fully support Davis action re matter in point.
Davis preparing protest.
Sent Department 250, Shanghai 214, Nanking 201.