WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 1949 (UP) -- American Consul General Angus Ward's top aide at Mukden has been arrested on a "fantastic" spying charge and is being held incommunicado by Chinese Communists, the State Department said Saturday.
The latest victim of Communist efforts to force the United States to "lose face" in the Orient is 26-year-old Vice Consul William N. Stokes of Staten Island, N.Y.
He was "removed," without a warrant and apparently by force, from the American consulate Friday -- only three days after Ward himself had been released from a Communist jail cell. It was Ward who disclosed Stokes' seizure. Ward reported the new incident by telephone to United States Consul General O. Edmund Clubb at Peiping, who relayed it to Washington.
The State department promptly branded the charges as "fantastic," "ridiculous and absolutely false." It directed Clubb at Peiping to file " the strongest protest" with Chinese Communist officials in the Communist capital.
The Communist action again blew wide open a situation which was believed to have been settled partly when Ward and four of his aides were released after a month in jail.
Rep. Walter H. Judd (R-Minn.) called for a United States naval blockade of China to force the release of Stokes.
"I am not recommending military action or anything like the Boxer expedition," Judd said. "But there are types of action that can be taken short of war, and we had better take those steps if we want to keep the respect of the Asiatic peoples."
Rep. Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.) a member of the House foreign affairs committee, said "the State department should take the case to the United Nations and ask for prompt action to effectuate Mr. Stokes' release."
Secretary of State Dean Acheson had appealed to 30 nations to bring pressure on the Chinese Communist to release Ward. He did so after repeated United States protests had produced nothing but contemptuous silence.
When Ward finally was released on Tuesday, diplomatic officials voiced satisfaction that the incident had been ended without harm to the men involved.
Five House Republicans charged, however, that the State department's appeal to other nations was "humiliating" to this country and called for Acheson's dismissal. They said this country should have taken "firm action" against the Chinese Communists "months ago."
Democratic Congressmen defended the State department's methods, asserting that the course recommended by the Republicans would have meant war.
Stokes' seizure came at a time when the State department was trying to speed the departure of Ward and his entire consulate staff from Mukden.
Stokes had served as acting United States consul general in the Manchurian city during the month Ward and his four aides were in jail on charges of beating a Chinese employee. The State department had decried those charges as "trumped up."
Ward and his four assistants received suspended prison sentences by a "people's court" and were freed only last Tuesday after this country had focused the pressure of world opinion on the Communist regime.
Ward reported that it was not known whether Stokes was being held as a defendant or as a witness. But the department indicated that it considers it likely that Stokes actually is being held on some "fantastic" spying charge.
Stokes apparently was being held incommunicado. Ward was not permitted to accompany him to the hearing.