393.11/908: Telegram

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

213. Legation’s 203, March 22, 6 p.m.41 Following from Hankow:

“March 22, 10 a.m. Following telegram received this morning from Father O’Shea, American missionary at Kanchow, Kiangsi: [Page 443] ‘Communist uprisings everywhere in Kangan; several missions burned; missioners forced flee; General admits inability protect life and property; asked in vain reinforcements; urge assistance, danger imminent’.

I have today again requested assistance of Kiangsi authorities in protecting lives of Americans resident in southern Kiangsi.”

Following from Canton:

“March 23, 2 p.m. Referring to my telegram above mentioned. Telegram just received from Bishop O’Shea reports all Americans and other foreigners in South Kiangsi still safe but situation considered dangerous. Bishop has received confirmation of looting and burning of missions at Hingkwo and Anyuan.”

Following from Foochow:

“March 23, 7 p.m.

It has been confirmed that Tingchow and Shanghang, in Amoy consular district, have been captured and partially burned by a Communist force from Kiangsi said to have 5 Russian advisers and to number 14,000. Their plan of operations is trying to embrace a two-column advance to Yenping, one via Lungyen, the other via Yungan, which is also reported captured.
The provincial government who, in the absence of Admiral Yang, lack leadership and force, are in a state of trepidation, and, while the coup is probably an opportunist adventure which is speculating upon hoped-for developments in Nanking and the Yangtze Valley, there are several unfortunate circumstances in the situation. The marine and provincial defense forces cannot be considered formidable, local subversive elements have never been suppressed and of late have been increasingly active, and Lu Hsin-pang at Yenping, commanding Nationalist Second Division, cannot be expected to do more than cherish his own security.
Barring a serious diversion in Nanking, I do not anticipate within the next week or from any other cause any local developments to arise from further advance of the Communists which would seriously affect the safety of Foochow.
I am advising Americans at Yungchun to withdraw upon [apparent omission] of Communists or signs of disorder.
Repeated Amoy only.”
  1. Telegram in two sections.
  2. Not printed.