123 Clubb, Oliver Edmund/6–2147: Telegram

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

1367. In light of deteriorating situation Manchuria which may entail partial or complete Govt withdrawal from northeast (reEmbtel 1356, June 20, 9 p.m.1), Embassy has been giving consideration to future position consular establishments there.

During recent visit Mukden, Clubb2 expressed to Minister-Counselor3 a willingness to remain at Changchun in event it comes under Communist control. In view of past policy in China of retaining consular offices at posts controlled by authorities other than Central Govt, Embassy considers that Clubb’s desire is basically sound and would be of advantage to US. However, it is likely in event Communists occupy Changchun that Clubb would be out of communication with Embassy for considerable period and therefore his immediate usefulness definitely limited. On other hand it is very possible that Communists may desire to have in their then enlarged areas an official American representative who at some future time might be useful as a channel for truce or other negotiations. Conversely, sight must not be lost of fact that Soviet influence may so work upon Chinese Communist leadership that all American representatives will be completely silenced or expelled from Communist occupied areas.

From point of view of Clubb’s personal safety it seems unlikely that Changchun if taken by Communists will be taken by assault. It is more likely that there will be either Nationalist evacuation or surrender and the only real danger, aside from period of active hostilities close to city, would be during period of transfer of authority.

Embassy has been informed by British Ambassador4 that some [Page 630] time ago instructions were sent British Consul General at Changchun which in effect encourage him to remain in event Communist occupation of city. While at Mukden, Minister-Counselor was informed by Clubb that his British colleague intended to remain.

Embassy has insured that ESD5 has issued instructions that all its American personnel are to be evacuated prior to any Communist occupation in order that position of Consuls will not be jeopardized by their presence.

Although less immediate than in case of Changchun, same general conditions prevail with regard Mukden. In order that Embassy may make adequate plans for possible evacuation of personnel from Manchurian offices, guidance of Dept in the premises would be appreciated.

  1. Ante, p. 192.
  2. O. Edmund Clubb, Consul General at Changchun.
  3. W. Walton Butterworth.
  4. Infra.
  5. External Survey Detachment, an intelligence unit.