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John Paton Davies, one of the State Department's best analysts on China in the World War II and post-war era, was not without a sense of humor. Left in charge of the Consulate in Manchuria he once sent in a parody of a normal political report in which he announced that the government of Manchukuo (Manchuria) had declared the recognition of 1,423 virtuous widows.

In his analysis, he pointed out that this number was 33 less than the number of virtuous widows recognized the year before. He appended the comment, "whether the standards of the Manchukuo government had tightened, or those of the widows have slackened, is not known." This was sufficient to get him officially reprimanded by the officer in charge of Far Eastern affairs in the State Department, who apparently had no sense of humor.

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