893.00/11–948: Telegram

The Consul General at Tientsin (Smyth) to the Secretary of State 59

327. Re our telegram 570, November 6.60 KMA61 at Tangshan reports General Lin of Sixty-second Army and General Hou of [Page 557] Ninety-second Army passed through Tangshan yesterday and moving their troops by rail from Tangku to Luanhsien and eastward. Troops probably those mentioned re telegram who continued on by boat from Cwt.62 KMA also reports Taiwan troops previously at Tangshan have moved Peiping area.

In view fact Sixty-second Armies being brought back to Tangshan–Luanhsien area, leaving only mostly collection defeatist troops at CWT, it is possible Fu Tso-yi will make no serious effort to hold CWT but will try to hold Kailan mines which necessary keep Tientsin utilities going especially water works.

Chinese press reports four columns Communist troops under Lin Piao who crossed Great Wall north of Shanhaikuan moving through Funing towards Fengjen 15 miles north Tangshan. Some Chinese here believe Communists offensive aimed at KMA mines but seems also possible Communists may sweep around Government troops to cut rails between Tientsin and sea, and/or cut railway between Tientsin and Peiping.

Chinese here no longer say “if” Communists arrive, but “when”. As stated my telegram 560, November 2,63 there is universal desire for peace. Generalissimo’s speech yesterday Nanking expressing “inflexible determination” of Government to fight on evoked comment “he should get out and let us have peace”.

As stated my telegram 560, November 2, Chinese here feel it is too late for American military aid which they believe would only hopelessly prolong war and suffering of people. In present circumstances and mood of people here, it is believed American military aid would stir up anti-American feeling, thereby endangering Americans in North China.

Sent Nanking 573, repeated Department 327, Shanghai 537, and Peiping.

  1. Copy transmitted to the White House on November 11 for President Truman at Key West, Florida.
  2. To Nanking; repeated to the Department as No. 322, not printed.
  3. Kailan Mining Administration.
  4. Chinwangtao.
  5. To Nanking; repeated to the Department as No. 315, p. 534.