390.1115A/1–245: Telegram

The Appointed Ambassador in China (Hurley) to the Secretary of State

3. Embassy is continuing efforts to facilitate withdrawal of American and Allied civilians generally from areas in Eastern and Central China and of nonessential Americans from China to India. (Embassy’s 2012, December 13.2) Commanders of advanced air bases including those in Kiangsi, Hunan and Hupeh have been authorized to furnish passage to rear bases to American and Allied nationals as facilitates [facilities] are available. Civilian passengers will be accepted on army planes from Chungking to Kunming and from Kunming and Chengtu to bases in Assam. British Consul in Chengtu has been authorized to issue Indian visas thus obviating necessity for travel to Chungking or Kunming to obtain such visas. Indian Government has authorized issuance of visas to Americans introduced by American diplomatic or consular representatives subject to guarantee of maintenance in India. We have made arrangements with Foreign Office for simplification of procedure for documentation of Americans desiring to leave China. This procedure will shortly be put into effect and we hope it will prove reasonably satisfactory (Embassy’s 2058, December 233).

Since stabilization of military situation on Kweichow–Kwangsi border there has been distinct coolness on part of American missionaries toward withdrawal. Many feel that there is no need to leave China at least for the present. In general the larger and better organized missions plan to retain only key personnel and are urging [Page 2] remainder to leave as soon as personal affairs can be settled. Some are being transferred to India and others especially invalids and aged and those whose furloughs are due are being sent home. Smaller independent missions located in isolated areas and having no representatives in Chungking show less evidence of desiring to cooperate.