893.00 Manchuria/2–2548: Telegram

The Consul General at Peiping (Clubb) to the Secretary of State

96. Two unrelated sources have informed me in last 2 days Nationalist forces Manchuria disaffected and refusing fight. Yunnan troops at Chinchow (part of Sixtieth Army) cited particularly as unreliable. Projected dispatch by Nanking of “battle supervisory group” as reported today’s press adjudged by one observer to be related to refusal of troops to fight and to envisage use of such good troops as are available to prevent retreat or turnover by front line troops (reContel 95, 25th). Apparent ease with which Communists captured Liaoyang, Anshan and now (by report) Sinmin and Penhsi is indication of extent to which dissatisfaction has rapidly spread.

General Fan Han-chieh68 by unconfirmed report has thus far been able move only two divisions into Chinchow area. He showed himself uncommunicative but depressed in interview 21st. Unconfirmed report is that he will be relieved of troop command and given only Jehol chairmanship. Fu Tso-yi68a reported highly dissatisfied because despite heavy duties which he assumed, Nanking, although ready with fair promises, is failing send him needed munitions, supplies, money. Reported move Nanking impeach Shansi chairman Yen His-shan, if basic reasons still unclear, cannot do otherwise than to add more fuel to fire discontent: Fu is old subordinate of Yen and latter whatever his politics controls all of that part of Shansi now remaining nominally in National camp—circles are seriously disturbed by future prospects for north China. High officials have reputedly already begun sending out families. Formosa is stated to be one place of refuge.

One official estimated this morning “all would be over one way or another” in Manchuria by end March. Respectfully suggest that present rapid rate deteriorating Manchuria situation there must be considered possibility sudden major collapse remaining Nationalists, strength here. Effect would immediately be felt North China, and dangerous situation would probably develop here within 3 months thereafter at outside.

Sent Department, repeated Nanking as 151. Tientsin and Mukden.

  1. First Army Corps Commander and Chairman of Jehol Provincial Governments.
  2. Commander in Chief, North China Bandit Suppression Headquarters.