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To James F. Byrnes
February 19, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 212. [Chungking, China]
Reference your desire to reestablish U.S. Consulate officers in Dairen, Mukden and Harbin, Manchuria and the Chinese Government reply that in view of present conditions it would not be practicable at this time to give such permission,1 I informed Foreign Office today that I thought it desirable for U.S. to go ahead and reestablish Consulate offices at Dairen and Mukden, unless Chinese objected. I thought that this would either force the Russians into the open if they chose to object or would give us the advantage of lookouts in those localities whose mere presence would embarrass the Russians in taking any raw measures. The Foreign Office replies that the Chinese Government has no objections to U.S. Consular officers returning to Dairen and Mukden, but as Chinese are not in control at those places they could not guarantee safety. At Mukden there is a Chinese appointed mayor but he has not yet taken over administration as Russians are still in control and Russian troops present. At Dairen Chinese have nothing.
I am sending our Consulate officials to Dairen and Mukden. They may be refused entry or permission to establish their Consulates but if so there can no longer continue any doubt on the part of the world as to the Russian intention.2
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. In late January, at the State Department’s direction, U.S. Counselor of Embassy Robert L. Smyth asked China’s Foreign Ministry to permit the United States to reopen its consular offices in Harbin, Mukden, and Dairen. The initial Chinese response on January 30 was positive, but on February 16 the Foreign Ministry said that “it would not be practicable for the time being.” (Foreign Relations, 1946, 10: 1130-33.)
2. Documents concerning the problems of opening U.S. consulates in Harbin and Darien are ibid., pp. 1130-1200.
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. 460-461.