893.00/9790a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in China (Mayer)


80. For Minister and Chargé: Withdrawal of the three cruisers now on China station is recommended by Navy Department.

As to advisability of withdrawing any of cruisers at this time, Department wishes your confidential opinion and, if you consider it wise, also that of the consul general at Shanghai, and any others with whom you may desire to consult.

According to our information, the forces of Great Britain in China are being reduced, but it appears that War and Navy Departments are differently informed in regard to actual number of British forces. The British forces number 4,500 men, according to Navy information, but number 7,222 according to War information. It is desired that you ascertain the correct number and inform the Department.

In order to enable us to reach a decision, the above information is necessary in addition to that contained in Legation’s 135, March 2, 4 p.m.