The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 2—5:27 a.m.]
2397. Through his representative Nanking, Lapham72 has asked our reaction projected evacuation Chinese Air Force material (Shanghai’s 2591 December 1, repeated Nanking 1958). Regardless of ECA legislative authority to undertake operation, we feel that all ECA operations would be prejudiced by such an undertaking. Evacuated material in question would constitute active participation in civil conflict in effort deprive Communists of what they may consider rightful booty and should Shanghai fall. Such action on part ECA would unquestionably prejudice personal safety its representative which we understand it plans leave Peiping, Tientsin at least on temporary [Page 272]basis in event Communist occupation. We feel most strongly that suggested action would be ill-advised.
We concur undesirability preventing valuable equipment falling into hands Communists and suggest more appropriate ECA approach would be through pressure through CUSA.73 Equipment in question was delivered Shanghai by Bosey and it should be possible for Bosey to transport it elsewhere.
Sent Department 2397, repeated Shanghai 1196.