The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China (Gauss)
262. Reference Department’s 259, November 6, 7 p.m. The President, State Department and Navy Department have approved the recommended withdrawal of marines from China, excepting those required for maintenance, communications and custodial duties, subject to the working out and execution by the State and Navy Departments of a plan for orderly withdrawal along lines as follows: The State Department has informed the British Embassy at Washington of our tentative intentions and will soon notify that Embassy of our decision.79 Public announcement of decision will then be made in [Page 580] order that civilian nationals and others may have as much notice as practicable before withdrawal occurs. Thereafter withdrawal of the marines should be effected as soon as practicable.
The recommendation of the American Consul at Shanghai (in consultation with the senior American naval officer present there) and the recommendation of the Embassy at Peiping (in consultation with the senior American naval officer there) are requested in regard to the following points: (a) date of withdrawal of marines; (b) question of conclusion of arrangement at Shanghai for performance after withdrawal of the functions now performed under defense scheme by marines; (c) consideration of function which each gunboat performs in connection with nearest diplomatic and consular office and question of withdrawal of gunboats; (d) number of personnel to remain for communication purposes and custody of Government property at Shanghai, Tientsin, Peiping, including legation establishment, and points where gunboats now furnish communications for American Government (this personnel to be attached to Embassy or to the Consulate concerned); (e) shipping needed to be sent to Shanghai and Chinwangtao for evacuation of marines and also for the evacuation of civilians who may wish to depart.
It is desired that publicity in regard to the foregoing be controlled from Washington.
The Navy Department is sending to Admiral Hart a message along the lines of this telegram.
Sent to Chungking. Repeated to Peiping and Shanghai.
- Memorandum handed on November 14 by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Adams) to the First Secretary of the British Embassy (Dening) (893.0146/916a).↩