Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Chinese Affairs (Ringwait) to the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Butterworth)
On March 23 I telephoned Captain B. L. Austin, CNO,10 in regard to this message and asked whether he could indicate to me Navy’s reaction to ComNavWesPac’s request. I stated that although I obviously was unable to speak for the Department it was my personal and informal view that we would prefer that the Marine complement in China waters not be increased at this time. Captain Austin replied that this problem was not within the jurisdiction of CNO but that he would inquire of the Pacific Section and inform me of its reaction to this message.
This morning Colonel Metz, CNO, telephoned me that the Navy Department was answering ComNavWesPac’s message in the following sense: Whereas ComNavWesPac’s suggestion might have considerable merit, Navy does not approve of the transfer to ComNavWesPac of a company of Marines from Guam or the West Coast of the United States. US Marines are stationed in Tsingtao for the protection [Page 310]of American interests. If ComNavWesPac desires to implement its suggestion that a company of Marines be assigned for service afloat in vessels of its command it is authorized to draw on the Marine forces now at Tsingtao.