Nanking Embassy Files, F73, 300 Evacuation

The Consul General at Taipei (Krentz) to the Ambassador in China (Stuart)

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s Secret Airgram of April 6, 1948, 8:40 a.m., directing the submission to the Chief of Mission of a set of emergency plans for integration with the Mission’s general emergency plan for China. In this connection, reference is also made to your Circular Instruction No. 15 of May 26, 1948, and to your note of May 27, 1948, and enclosures.54

It is assumed that in considering evacuation plans for mainland China the Embassy might propose the use of Taiwan as an intermediate evacuation point. This might of course be necessary in certain circumstances, but in the opinion of this office it should be avoided if at all possible. Taiwan has not yet recovered from war damage to buildings and the housing problem is truly acute even as considering the present population. The influx into Taiwan of large numbers of people from the mainland could not but lead to extreme hardship.

As far as the Americans already present in Taiwan are concerned, it is believed that the present status of Taiwan as a well-garrisoned island makes it unlikely that movements on the mainland would have immediate effect here. As indicated in the paragraph above, it seems more probable that events on the mainland would lead to population movements to Taiwan. There is already local evidence that an advance movement is taking place. Prices for the little available housing have recently advanced sharply.

The constant possibility remains that Taiwan could be plunged into civil commotion, but with the exception of two families and our military personnel Americans are believed to be concentrated in Taipei; detailed evacuation plans would therefore hardly appear to be warranted.

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In view of the reasons brought out in the foregoing, it is hoped that the Embassy will not consider Taiwan as an intermediate evacuation point and unless the Embassy otherwise directs detailed emergency plans for Taiwan will not be prepared at this time.

Respectfully yours,

Kenneth C. Krentz
  1. None printed.