393.1115/6–148: Telegram

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

981. Vice Foreign Minister George Yeh was informed May 28 of our intention issue discreet warning to Americans Tientsin–Peiping area that situation seemed to warrant evacuation while normal transportation communications were still available of all those who were not willing to remain under possible Communist control. We said we did not anticipate early collapse of situation, but saw only continued deterioration and felt that common prudence required us to issue this warning at this time. Yeh requested that we delay warning until he could consult with other Ministries.

On May 31 he called us in and insisted that North China military situation is now same as it has been for past 4 or 5 months and added, with some strength, that no need for warning exists; that to issue [Page 835] such a warning at this time would have “unfortunate psychological effect” and that the Government would consider issuance of such warning at this time as “highly inadvisable”.

Our best information which we believe reliable indicates that military situation in north Hopei and south Jehol continues to deteriorate rapidly, Government forces showing no real will to fight, and we remain convinced that ordinary prudence and our responsibility in respect of Americans dictate the issuance of discreet warnings to Americans in Peiping–Tientsin to evacuate while normal means of transportation remain available. This warning would not affect, of course, those who plan to remain even though Communists should occupy the area. Before doing so, we should like Department’s further instructions.

In meantime I am seeking interview with Generalissimo; will tell him of situation and of our intended action, and endeavor use situation as lever to prod him into action necessary to improve situation in north. I shall report further after my interview with Generalissimo though I am not sanguine that effort will produce desired result.