893.00/8078: Telegram

The Minister in China ( MacMurray ) to the Secretary of State


50. I am led to believe by the very serious rioting at Foochow and the looting of the American premises there—by Nationalist soldiers rather than by an unorganized mob—coincidentally with situation in Yangtze region, that we ought to consider immediately whether it is advisable to send additional American naval forces to Chinese waters with a view to possible necessity of increasing effectiveness of the Asiatic Fleet—which is a matter to be determined primarily by the commander in chief—and also, and principally, with consideration of the reaction here. My opinion is that the most effective prevention we can devise against a development of the present situation which would be more dangerous if not disastrous is preparedness for eventualities, even though I am trusting that will not take place.