The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China (Stuart)
1471. Same considerations as those set forth Embtel 1367 Jun 21 and Deptel 780 Jun 26 continue valid but in view present picture Manchurian situation given Embtel 2297 Nov 267 we feel desirable review entire matter and establish regular procedure applicable all such situations.
Dept generally feels we should not withdraw consular officers from cities in danger Communist occupation. Once withdrawn it would probably be difficult restore consular offices except on Com terms. Observation Com controlled areas even though immediately communications might be cut offers long range advantages and withdrawals might be taken by Coms as indication they could force our withdrawal elsewhere. Coms might, of course, attempt latter either directly or indirectly. In case Manchuria it might be advisable evacuate Changchun if necessary due imminent Com occupation and retain skeleton staff Mukden, latter to remain regardless military situation. In this connection Robert Ward, whose health expected permit his assignment to field early 1948, has expressed willingness go Changchun. Dept unwilling instruct consular officers remain posts in view possible personal danger and feels in any event officers remaining should be language officers or those with China experience. Families and female staff members would, of course, be evacuated.
Emb requested comment on foregoing and report views consular officers in posts where Emb feels situation within next few months may require decision regarding withdrawal. Advantage should be taken Inspector Muccio’s8 presence in China to consult him with respect foregoing.