711.93/1–747: Telegram

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

36. In connection with over-all question of growth of anti-American feeling in China, there is repeated below Tientsin’s telegram No. 1 of January 1 to Embassy:

“Local Marine headquarters announce Marine dependents authorized proceed Tientsin. It is my considered opinion sending Marine dependents Tientsin at this time inadvisable and would intensify growing local Chinese dissatisfaction over continued presence Marines. There seems no doubt that apart from some Chinese officials and some wealthy Chinese and merchants who like assurance afforded by Marines, large majority local Chinese of all classes desire early departure Marines and arrival welcome extended Marines has worn very thin and natural resentment presence foreign forces increased by exaggeration resulting from friction and incidents. General desire for withdrawal Marines steadily increased recent months and can no longer be brushed aside merely as Communist propaganda and which is local Chinese official line.

As long as no dependents here, local Chinese feel Marines stay temporary but arrival dependents would given impression Marines here indefinitely and increase Chinese feeling of resentment and frustration. I therefore respectfully recommend decision send Marine dependents here at this time be reconsidered. I realize fully natural desire Marines for dependents but believe arrival dependents would merely serve to increase growing anti-American feeling among local populace, Smyth.”1

Embassy concurs in views expressed by Smyth but the arrival of dependents is but a part of over-all problem of presence of U. S. [Page 943] Armed Forces in China which has been subject of continuing U. S. discussions between Embassy and General Marshall.2

  1. Robert L. Smyth, Consul General at Tientsin.
  2. General of the Army George C. Marshall, Special Representative of President Truman in China, December 1945–January 1947; he became Secretary of State, January 21, 1947.