601.4193/3–651: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Gifford ) to the Secretary of State


4793. 1. There is every indication that with assumption of Lamb1 [Page 1590] as Chargé of British Embassy Peiping and departure of Hutchison there will be a noticeable stiffening of British attitude toward CPG. FonOff has given ample opportunity for “polite” policy to pay dividends and it has not done so.

2. Instructions drafted for Lamb’s guidance and for discussion with CPG when occasion arises direct him to bring vigorously to attention CPG question of (a) delay in issuance exit permits and (b) detention British nationals.

3. Re (a) Lamb will say CPG entirely without justification in refusing issue exit permits British nationals not accused of crime. Specific mention could be made of British manager NCB Shanghai who after 18 months still without permit.

4. Re (b) attention of CPG will be drawn to number of cases which Hutchison’s “polite” policy has failed solve (including Dr. Allen of Canadian hospital Chungking and crew of Australian plane which some time ago made forced landing off China coast near Hong Kong).

5. In discussing above, Franklin, China Desk, suggested his hand would be strengthened if Embassy would again raise with FonOff question of American citizens whose exit visas had been held up (including seven businessmen in Shanghai), or who had been detained by police (including Buol2 and Bryan). He said FonOff had only recently drawn attention of British Embassy to fact that when US originally asked UK intervene on behalf American businessmen Hutchison had recommended mild approach in thought that if this failed achieve results UK could then take stronger attitude; FonOff indicated mild approach had obviously been ineffective. Embassy Peiping was asked whether time had not now arrived for further representations and whether on balance publicity would be helpful.

6. Embassy of opinion it would be desirable follow through on Franklin suggestion. If Department agrees Embassy would appreciate early instructions, including views as to publicity.3

  1. Lionel Henry Lamb was replacing Sir John Colville Hutchison as British Chargé d’Affaires in Peking.
  2. Lawrence R. Buol of Civil Air Transport had been arrested early in 1950 at Kunming.
  3. Telegram 4089 to London, March 9, 1951, instructed the Embassy to inform the Foreign Office that the Department would welcome such representations and requested British views on the advisability of the Department’s issuing a factual statement on the situation of Americans in mainland China (601.4193/3–951). The Embassy replied in telegram 5103, March 28, 1951, that the Foreign Office had instructed Lamb to make representations on all cases outstanding and that it urged withholding publicity for some time in order to avoid endangering the exodus of missionaries from China. (601.4193/3–2851).