893.243/4–1147: Telegram

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

790. In message 070107Z to Chief Naval Operations, Admiral Cooke80 has recommended that certain small arms and ammunition be made available for purchase by Chinese Maritime Customs preventive service.

In September 1946, Admiral Cooke made similar recommendation and at that time General Marshall was of opinion that even though amount munitions involved was not large, there was possibility of their falling into hands of combat troops and that a damaging publicity campaign could be manufactured out of such transfer of arms. General Marshall was willing to agree in principle to transaction only on basis that Maritime Customs be required give formal assurance that equipment would not be used in civil war. In view General Marshall’s comments, proposed transfer of equipment was disapproved in October 1946.

Embassy believes that transfer of this equipment would have beneficial effect in checking smuggling and piracy activities on Chinese coast, but the considerations pointed out by General Marshall last September, particularly the adverse publicity, still apply and require Department’s consideration and decision.

  1. Adm. Charles M. Cooke, Jr., Commander, United States Naval Forces, Western Pacific (ComNavWesPac).