The Ambassador in China ( Hurley ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:42 p.m.]
1403. The following further comments are submitted concerning reorganization of Foreign Service operations in China (please see also my telegram No. 1347, August 13, 9 a.m.)
- Transfer Chungking to Nanking. Chinese Foreign Office now expects to move by October 10 and has expressed hope that foreign chiefs of mission can reach Nanking by that date. Conversations with colleagues indicate that if conditions Nanking too congested or disorganized, part of staffs may be established temporarily in Shanghai. I plan to detail an officer (in addition to those mentioned in my reference telegram, third paragraph) to visit both Nanking and Shanghai at earliest possible opportunity to report on our properties there.
- Details of transfer. Our Naval Attaché4 has expressed the opinion that the most practicable method of transfer would be to detail U. S. Naval craft (LST boats for example) to Chungking and to transport thereon all our records, archives, office equipment, furniture, vehicles and personal luggage. Some of the personnel might also use this transportation. Captain Jarrell expressed the further opinion that [Page 1459] as a temporary emergency arrangement it might be possible to house personnel aboard a Naval vessel at Nanking, should quarters not be immediately available in the city. It is suggested that the Department explore foregoing with the Navy Department, informing me by cable of the result.
- Chengtu. The lease expires September 30 next. In the absence of instructions to the contrary I shall direct Paxton5 to give the required notice on September 1 and to close the office by the end of that month. I am assuming that the Department will not desire to have more than one Consulate in Szechwan, and that one officer will be left in Chungking when the Embassy moves to Nanking; should the Department consider Chengtu more important as a permanent post, he could later transfer there after liquidating matters here.
- Lanchow. It is recommended that this office remain closed.
- Sian and Tihwa. I suggest these offices continue to operate for the time being.
- Kunming. We have just received a copy of Langdon’s6 despatch 240 dated August 15,7 requesting assignment to Manchuria or Korea, and referring to separate despatch (not yet received here) recommending reduction of staff and leaving Vice Consul Clough8 in charge. Embassy agrees in principle to reduction of Kunming staff and suggests immediate transfer here of clerk Hilda Anderson. (This paragraph being repeated to Kunming by telegram.)
I should appreciate earliest possible comment on this message and my telegram 1347.