124.93/6–548: Telegram

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

1011. It is entirely possible that military situation in North China may develop in manner which will result in isolation Peiping similar to present isolation Mukden. In other words, life within city may be safe for long time after surrounding country is controlled by Communists. Unlike Mukden, the air fields at Peiping are outside defense perimeter and their use could quite easily be denied by Communists. Also, evacuation to Tientsin could easily be denied by cutting the railway. Accordingly, in respect of Peiping, we believe earlier evacuation of women and children is necessary than was the case in Mukden. We continue of the conviction that officers with families should only be assigned to Peiping with understanding that their families might, in last analysis, be unable to accompany them or might be evacuated at an early date (Deptel 823, June 2, noon55).

We have been in quandary regarding language school. Peiping is obviously most desirable situs, yet under Communist control we might lose for indefinite period valuable and greatly needed services of potential China service language officers. We had thought of treating students the same as other personnel and recommending that they be left in Peiping even though their families were evacuated, yet on more mature consideration we believe best interests of service would be served if language school were lifted bodily and established elsewhere should the necessity for evacuation of nonessential personnel from Peiping become evident. Our survey of alternatives leads us to the preliminary conclusion that Kunming is the logical place to which school should be evacuated in case of necessity. We are inquiring of Kunming and Peiping in this regard and will report further. In the meantime we see no reason why students mentioned Deptel 823 should not proceed as planned. Situation in North China is serious and is deteriorating, but we are not yet prepared to say that it is hopeless.

  1. Not printed.