284 Taylor to Heyes

Cablegram 406 NANKING, 15 September 1947


Since arrival here [1] have had discussions with British Security and Passport Control officers, UNRRA Security Officer and other highly placed persons, all with many years' residence in Shanghai, on the question of migration from here. I confirm in every detail Fuhrman's secret report of July 22nd [2] in which the Australian Minister Nanking concurs but from my observations consider that the position has now worsened considerably from the security point of view. The above authorities are emphatic that there is no possibility of obtaining reliable check on migrants either from the security or character view point and that individual enquiries are extremely dangerous. In addition persons who are in a position to furnish information are afraid of physical violence and will not do so. Would point out that the United Kingdom has restricted quota of 60 persons per year and Canada, Peru and the Argentine have stopped migration from here completely. In my opinion the only possible solution to the problem so far as Australia is concerned is complete and immediate suspension of migration of aliens from China and this course I most strongly recommend. In the meantime I consider Hong Kong offers more scope as a field for desirable migrants and pending consideration of my recommendation suggest I be transferred there. Would prefer however to return to Canberra to give full report on what is most urgent, complex and highly dangerous situation and think this latter suggestion more desirable.

1 Taylor was sent to Shanghai in August on a temporary basis to deal with immigration matters.

2 A memorandum from O.C.W. Fuhrman, Consul-General, Shanghai, to Heyes. It reported his investigations into the possibility of selecting suitable immigrants from the population of stateless person; and those of Russian origin in Shanghai. Because of the impossibility of carrying out adequate security checks, Fuhrman warned that it could be dangerous to admit refugees from Shanghai and recommended that migration from there cease.

[AA : A1068, IC47/31/15]