893.00/3–647: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State

469. Following from Taipei:

“37, March 5, 9 p.m.

Situation rapidly developing throughout island, including continuing reports imminent troop reinforcements from Fukien and secret evacuation high official families, strongly indicates we will be (unable) supply adequate background information without temporary coding help. If expected crisis develops it will come quickly and consider removal Consular families advisable while still feasible. Recommend Embassy send American plane to bring code clerk and necessary radio equipment (particularly generator mentioned USIS15 plain message today) as well as mail. On return plane would evacuate families and take important despatches for Embassy. UNRRA16 Taiwan has recommended evacuation greater portion its staff.
Possible danger now Consulate anticipated not from Formosans but from reckless or unfriendly Government forces jealous of American popularity among people. For Embassy’s consideration in light of political aspects involved, might suggest small United States armed military force quartered in Consulate would discourage any unfortunate incident from either side.
Believe presence here of foreign press representative would provide impartial news coverage even though communication problem would be difficult unless USIS network use authorized in absence other facilities. External broadcasts received distort Consulate’s position and general situation. Manila broadcast quotes alleged Nanking American Embassy spokesman to effect Consulate attacked, entered by Formosans and defended by mainland troops. Actually one stone hurled into grounds after fleeing mainlanders who scaled wall March 1. Only Government assistance to evacuate mainland refugees from Consulate not forthcoming until more than 8 hours after first request and after finally stating refugees jeopardized Consulate to extent request for American military protection would be necessary if not removed without further delay. Tokyo United States Army station report labor groups cause of trouble.”

Following is Embassy’s instruction in reply:

“Embassy has given careful consideration to your 37, March 5 and is bringing to immediate attention highest Chinese authorities [Page 435] desirability of affording fullest measure protection to Consulate and American nationals in situation, pointing out in this connection that previous request by you for local protection your establishment was forthcoming only after considerable delay.

At this critical time you should be most careful to avoid any external appearance of prejudging the merits of present dispute or becoming a participant in it in any manner whatsoever. You will also realize that in this situation American officials must only look to the constituted authority, whose responsibility it is to afford you adequate protection.

The Embassy is sympathetic to your desire for the immediate evacuation of Consular families and is prepared to set up special flight for this purpose. Within the next 24 hours, however, it is requested that you reassess the situation and inform Embassy whether you wish plane to be sent, bearing in mind the probability that other American and foreign nationals will request transportation on the same aircraft which will result in considerable publicity.”

  1. United States Information Service.
  2. United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.