The Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs(Butterworth) to the Minister-Coumelor of Embassy in China(Clark)
Dear Lewis: The Tsingtao situation continues a pressing problem in the solution of which it is exceedingly difficult to obtain agreement [Page 330]among the concerned agencies of the Government, In order that you may be au courant of developments here in regard to this problem, I am enclosing copies of the following documents:
- Letter from the Acting Secretary to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council dated October 14, 1948;41
- Memorandum from the Director of the Joint Staff to the Acting Secretary dated October 1942 enclosing a copy of a memorandum for the Joint Chiefs of Staff;
- Memorandum from the Acting Secretary dated October 1943 in reply to the memorandum listed immediately above.
As you will note from the enclosure listed under (2), the President, following a conversation with Messrs. Hoffman44 and Lapham,45 sent a memorandum on October 18 to the Secretary of Defense suggesting that withdrawal from Tsingtao not take place at this time and that aid to North China be expedited, The Acting Secretary’s letter to the NSC was, of course, written before the President’s memorandum to Secretary Forrestal. However, after reviewing the letter we believe the steps recommended therein to be consonant with the President’s memorandum. At yesterday’s meeting of the NSC it was agreed to defer consideration of the letter until the meeting on November 4.
We have also taken the view, as you will note from the enclosure listed under (3), that the existing directive from the JCS to Admiral Badger instructing him to evacuate U. S. forces in the event of a Communist attack and should the situation so require is not in conflict with the President’s memorandum. We have not been informed yet of the action, if any, taken by the JCS at their meeting on October 20.
It is evident from the foregoing that the Tsingtao problem is still very much up in the air. Our immediate objective is to have Admiral Badger’s command placed on a mobile basis by evacuating Navy and Marine dependents and liquidating, insofar as possible, shore installations. We consider this a preliminary step necessary either to meet an emergency or to carry out whatever policy decision may be made regarding the retention of U. S. forces in Tsingtao.
P. S. Since writing the foregoing, we have been informed that the JCS on October 23 cancelled the directive to Admiral Badger mentioned in the penultimate paragraph above and (1) authorized him to use his forces for the protection of United States interests and for [Page 331]the maintenance of order in connection therewith, within the Tsingtao perimeter, (2) instructed him to be prepared for prompt evacuation of dependents, U. S. nationals and other nationals from Tsingtao when in his judgment the situation so requires, (3) instructed him to be prepared to evacuate U. S. Forces on orders of the JCS and (4) requested him to keep the appropriate authorities informed of any change in the situation and of any action taken pursuant to the directive.