The Counselor of Embassy in China (Butrick) to the Secretary of State
[Received 10:40 p.m.]
351. The Department’s 262, November 7, 7 p.m. to Chungking. Colonel Ashurst has completed his survey of the Marine establishments in North China and is today making to Admiral Hart his recommendations in which I concur. Briefly they are as follows: (a) Withdrawal within 30 days after official notice to withdraw is received if no unforeseen complications are encountered in obtaining rail transportation; (b) Sentinels to remain: One radio operator at Tientsin and in Peiping three radio operators and six men for custodial service; (c) One ship to carry approximately 200 Marine personnel and 50 civilians, 2,500 cubic tons Marine equipment, 50 tons civilian baggage and maximum 2,500 tons civilian household effects if latter permitted.
The number of civilians who will depart with the Marines will be affected by the cost of transportation and I recommend that every effort be made to afford cheap transportation—at the cost of substance on a naval vessel or at a reduced fare on a commercial vessel, that obtainable through an adjustment by the Maritime Commission of operating differentials. There are 652 American nationals, including 46 Filipinos, in the Tientsin consular district, which includes Peiping. If meanwhile Department advises civilians to withdraw or world conditions take a more serious turn, a somewhat larger number than that estimated above will desire to leave.85
Sent to the Department, repeated to Chungking and Shanghai.