The Acting Secretary of State to Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, Executive Secretary to the National Security Council

My Dear Mr. Souers: In my letter to you dated October 14, I pointed out that in the opinion of the Department of State there has arisen in Tsingtao a potentially explosive situation. The Department of State has received no information indicating that this situation has become less serious than at that time.

Since my letter was written, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have cancelled their directive of June 14, under which Admiral Badger was instructed to evacuate U. S. forces from Tsingtao in the event of a Communist attack on the city and, in place thereof, have issued a new directive authorizing him to use his forces “for the protection of U. S. interests and for the maintenance of order in connection therewith within the perimeter of Tsingtao”. This directive seems to allow Admiral Badger wide discretionary authority.

In view of the dangerous possibilities in the Tsingtao situation and the apparently discretionary nature of Admiral Badger’s present directive, I believe it important that the concerned agencies of the United States Government be informed promptly of the action which Admiral Badger contemplates under this directive in the event that the Chinese Communists attack Tsingtao and of the steps which he is taking pursuant to his new directive.

Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Lovett