WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 1949 (UP) -- The United States has asked Russia and 29 other nations to lodge a mass protest with the Chinese Communist government over the jailing in Mukden of American Consul Bernal Angus Ward, it was revealed Monday.
Ward and four of his employees are in prison, charged with beating a Chinese and other members of the consulate staff are under house arrest.
Secretary of State Dean G. Acheson, in an appeal to all nations with diplomatic representatives in China, charged that Ward's detention was a "direct violation" of international law. He asked them "as a matter of urgency" to express to the Chinese Communist the concern they "undoubtedly " feel over the incident.
The message was sent Friday night and made public by the State department Monday. While the note went to all nations with representatives in China, the appeal to Russia was the most significant aspect of this government's newest effort to free Ward and his four aides. Ward and his staff had been virtual prisoners of the Communists even before his actual arrest.
If Moscow should refuse to join the protest, Russia, in effect, would be condoning Ward's treatment. That would tend to back up broad hints by United States diplomats that Russia may have staged the entire incident to cause the United States to lose face in the Far East.
But if Russia should decide to help, her intervention unquestionably would carry great weight with the Chinese Communist leaders. The Kremlin has exercised a dominating influence in Manchuria since Japan was conquered.
In his appeal to the 30 nations, Acheson reviewed how the Communists refused to permit Ward and his staff to leave Mukden a year ago. He and the employees were actually jailed Oct. 24 on what this country regards as a "trumped-up" charge.
"The treatment accorded to Mr. Ward and to the American consular staff in Mukden is in direct violation of the basic concepts of international relations which have been developed throughout the centuries," Acheson asserted.