393.11/428: Telegram

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

42. Following from Nanking:93

“January 16, 3 p.m. I earnestly suggest that American citizens be withdrawn immediately from territories controlled by Cantonese, and the Department request home organizations to order their workers’ withdrawal. This action would avert loss of life and prestige and would probably tend to bring the more sane Southern leaders to their senses.”

I have replied as follows:

“January 17, 6 p.m. Your January 16, 3 p.m. I assume that you are acting on the authorization granted in my January 13, 3 p.m.,94 and are advising any Americans in portions of your district under or in any proximity to areas under Nationalist control to withdraw without delay. All consuls in Yangtze Valley and in South China have been granted authority in their discretion to advise immediate withdrawal, but I have not yet been informed by any of them that they have definitely recommended a general exodus. There is, however, a very large withdrawal of Americans from Szechuan and there are numerous departures from regions lower down the river. Apart from such action as the consuls may take locally [in the] remedying of conditions in their immediate vicinity, I purpose immediately, in the event that there appears a convincing general necessity therefor, to warn all American citizens to withdraw from areas under Nationalist control. I desire your further and more specific comment as to the immediate advisability of this step.”

With reference to my telegram 32, January 15, 2 p.m.,95 section 2. In view of the possibility of American missionaries in Central and South China being compelled to withdraw, I suggest that the Department take up with the heads of mission boards the question of their making suitable preparation for such an eventuality.

  1. From Consul John K. Davis.
  2. See penultimate paragraph of telegram No. 26, Jan. 13, from the Minister in China, p. 45.
  3. Ante, p. 47.