Bear Admiral C. W. Styer, of the Office of Chief of Naval Operations, to the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Butterworth)
Ser: 004P35 (SC) A14–7/EF16
Washington, 8 January 1948.
My Dear Mr. Butterworth: The following information is submitted in response to your letter of 26 December 1947, (Paragraph numbers correspond):–
- The Joint Chiefs of Staff in August 1945 charged the Commanding General, China, with responsibility for the coordination with the Generalissimo1 of those parts of the occupation plans which pertain [Page 308]to China. This task and other residual functions were assumed by the Commander Seventh Fleet2 on 1 May 1946. Upon inactivation of the China theater, U. S. Navy vessels entered Tsingtao and Shanghai on 16 September and Tangku on 30 September 1945. Thereafter the U. S. Navy controlled and operated harbor facilities. These functions were relinquished to the Chinese on 31 August 1947, at Shanghai and in the spring of 1947 at Tangku. The U. S. Navy still cooperates with and assists Chinese harbor authorities at Tsingtao. Vessels are now stationed at Shanghai and Tsingtao in support of or in connection with activities of U. S. Advisory Groups and Public Law 512.3 The Commander Naval Forces in the Western Pacific4 considers he has the Generalissimo’s personal concurrence in the use of Chinese ports and waters inasmuch as the Commander in Chief of the Chinese Navy has assured him that U. S. Naval vessels were free to go anywhere in China. No formal written agreement on stationing U. S. Naval vessels at China ports is known to exist. It is believed that the Chinese desire to avoid written agreements of this nature. Numerous subordinate agreements indicate that the present employment of U. S. vessels has the sanction of the highest Chinese authorities who are fully aware of our dispositions. Examples are agreements with Alien Property Administration, harbor authorities, Maritime Customs, and the Chinese Navy.
- No blanket agreement exists covering maintenance of shore establishments in Tsingtao. The Navy maintains shore activities there in connection with CNTC5 established at the request of the Generalissimo and to service fleet units in the area. Naval forces landed Tsingtao 11 October 1945, prior to the arrival of CNA,6 and occupied property as necessary. This property was relinquished as the scope of missions in China contracted and forces were reduced. Much of the property now occupied is covered by leases with Alien Property Administration or by lessor agencies. Some property is covered only by verbal agreement for use as long as required. Negotiations are underway to purchase, for naval purposes, some former alien property. The use of Tsangkou airfield is sanctioned indirectly by Chinese Air Force correspondence. Written agreement dated 12 December 1947 exists with the Chinese Navy for use of Tsingtao sea drome during 1948.
- Pier and godown space in harbor area Tsingtao is assigned by agreement with local administration without written contract. The [Page 309]policy has been to release space as the Navy can consolidate, thus providing for increasing Chinese traffic. Full understanding exists locally on this matter. NYK7 Wayside Wharf Shanghai was originally occupied in September 1945 for an indefinite period at no charge under written agreement with the Shanghai municipal government. Chinese Maritime Customs, present custodian, has granted short term renewals from time to time. Execution of long term lease has been recommended. Property includes covered storage, naval barracks, boat pool, and public works facilities. OSK7 Yangtzepoo Wharf was surrendered 30 August 1947. Navy has verbal assurance of continued use of 13 berths now occupied which represent roughly one-third of the total available. It is planned to release two of these about 1 April 1948. The Navy assists the Chinese in repair of docks.
C. W. Styer