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To Colonel Marshall S. Carter
October 6, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 1604. [Nanking, China]
I recently learned that during the late war, a Swiss parisitologist, Doctor R. J. C. Hoeppli, looked after the American Consulate in Peiping in a highly creditable manner and was largely responsible for the care given Doctor Stuart and his two companions in captivity.1 During most of the Japanese occupation period, he lived in the American Compound. I am told by Doctor Stuart and Peiping authorities that his exceptionally thoughtful and considerate handling of American interests evoked favorable comment on all sides.2
Walter Robertson reports Doctor Hoeppli was commended to the Department by Roger Peter Butrick, Counselor of Embassy. Butrick’s reports may reveal more details.
The point is that Dr. Hoeppli has apparently received no official recognition for his interests. He is an exceptionally fine man according to all accounts and he did the United States a great service. I understand he is very much interested in further research study in the States. Please see what State Department might be able to do for him. This question was raised solely by me on hearing casually from Doctor Stuart of what had happened.3
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the Department of State (RG 59), Lot Files, Marshall Mission, Military Affairs, GOLD Messages, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. As president of Yenching University outside Peiping, Stuart had refused to close the university or to move its students and faculty when Chinese troops evacuated the region in 1937. On December 8, 1941, the Japanese placed him under house arrest for the duration of the war.
2. Hoeppli was on the staff of the Peiping Union Medical College, whose building had been occupied by Executive Headquarters since January 1946.
3. Marshall soon discovered that the Swiss government would not permit its officials to accept foreign decorations for the neutral services they performed during the war. Consequently, the State Department was seeking to arrange to present engraved silver trays to the nearly 180 people, mostly Swiss, who had helped the United States in various ways, but this needed congressional authorization, which was likely to take considerable time. Congress had also failed to pass legislation the department had requested that would have funded government-sponsored research study in the United States, so Marshall directed the Embassy to arrange a trip to the United States with “VIP treatment and plush handling.” The medical college, which was largely funded by private contributions from the United States, gave Hoeppli a year’s leave with full pay and all expenses. (See the file on Hoeppli in NA/RG 59 [Lot Files, Marshall Mission, War Department, Miscellaneous II]. The quote is in Carter to Marshall, Radio No. WAR-84204, October 29, 1946.)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 709-710.