893.00/11–148: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State

2053. Revised directive to Badger, Deptel 1505, October 27,47 seems to increase possibility of conflict between American and Communist [Page 333] forces. Should such occur, safety all Americans remaining China might be jeopardized. This is particularly true of dependents [of] JUSMAG48 in view of fact that JUSMAG is agent Chinese Government publicly assisting Chinese Government military establishment.

With crushing of so many armies in Mukden theater and with known low morale Government forces Hsuchow area, it is within capabilities 21 Communist columns facing Hsuchow area either to overrun or by-pass Hsuchow and to attack Nanking. There is as yet no sign from the Generalissimo that he is discouraged by the recent serious military reverses or intends to give up and step aside. In fact I had a message from him only last night telling me not to worry about the military situation; that he was going to win this war with the Communists after all. Yesterday’s announcement that Bullitt49 will visit China in official capacity as representing joint Congressional Committee will certainly be interpreted in Nationalist circles as renewed American interest in China and act as tonic to the Generalissimo and his wavering supporters. These recent developments indicate continuing resistance by the Nationalist Government to Communist military sweep and increase the possibility that Nanking will be taken by assault rather than negotiated transfer with the consequent jeopardy to dependents this city particularly those of JUSMAG. If on the other hand Communist dominated Nationalist Government established before attack on Nanking, it would seem certain that JUSMAG would be withdrawn. Given this picture of situation, General Barr feels it desirable at this stage to order evacuation JUSMAG dependents and we concur. He has received authority to ship dependents home in last few days and proceeding with preliminary arrangements.

Because of rapidly deteriorating economic as well as political military situation, we believe it is not too early to issue preliminary formal warning to American citizens this district to leave while normal transportation facilities are still available. Communist forces in eastern Kiangsu and along the Grand Canal are an increasing threat and Shanghai is already an uneasy back door. This added to the West Coast shipping strike and the consequent limitation of commercial means of travel to USA are additional reasons why American citizens, uneasy in the present situation, should make their arrangements to leave central as well as north China. Consequently we are considering the issuance of formal warning to American citizens Nanking within next few days as well as instructing Consulate [s] General Shanghai and Hankow to follow similar course. First step would be used by General Barr as basis compulsory evacuation JUSMAG dependents. It would not only facilitate the implementation of his decision but would furnish plausible reason for public and press consumption.

[Page 334]

Obviously repercussions of AAG dependents will be significant and we will not proceed with warning or evacuation AAG dependents without advising Generalissimo. Furthermore plan requires coordination with ComNavWesPae who has not yet begun evacuation of dependents Tsingtao. Representatives AAG and Embassy flew to Tsingtao this afternoon to attempt coordination evacuation plans. Department will be advised results.

Availability Army and Navy transports for evacuation AAG dependents departing Shanghai November 9 and 24 make this decision one of extreme urgency.

  1. See footnote 46, p. 331.
  2. Joint U. S. Military Advisory Group.
  3. William C. Bullitt, former Ambassador in the Soviet Union and in France.