893.00/4–847: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Smith) to the Acting Secretary of State

1261. Kosmos 24. For Acheson35 personal from Marshall.36 USIS37 news survey of 7 April quoted herewith in full:

“Tientsin—Five Marines are killed, 16 wounded, as Chinese Communists loot U. S. Marine ammunition dump near Tangku. The battle [Page 957] lasts over 4 hours. A Marine statement says identification papers on the Chinese bodies identify them as Communists.”

If it is fact that assailants are identified as Chinese Communists, please consider immediate action to have the guarding of the ammunition dump turned over to the National Government forces with a view later to giving them the ammunition by process of abandonment. To be effective, this must be done without delay. Marines should be withdrawn from area and ammunition dropped on the books as abandoned. The abandonment for purely practical reasons was considered an eventual necessity when considering this matter with Cooke while I was in China. [Marshall]

  1. Dean Acheson, Acting Secretary of State.
  2. The Secretary of State was attending the Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers at Moscow.
  3. United States Information Service.