393.1115/10–1348: Telegram

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

1896. During Ambassador’s visit North China (see mytel 1832, October 470), he has been telling American citizens in Peiping–Tientsin area that time may have come when they should give serious consideration to leaving while commercial facilities still available for orderly exit with their effects from North China. However, with the concerted Communist attacks on Liaoyang corridor and imminent fall Chinchow, we feel Tientsin and Peiping are seriously threatened and time is fast approaching for more formal warning from Consulate Generals those cities to American citizens to leave threatened areas while commercial facilities still exist. Our military advisors feel should Chinchow fall, we may have period of 4 weeks before Tientsin and Peiping become object of Communist attack. Unless, therefore, we are instructed to the contrary, we plan upon the fall of Chinchow or other comparable development in present fighting to advise Consulate Generals at Peiping and Tientsin issue formal warning to all American citizens remaining their consular districts to leave while normal facilities are still available.

We have already advised Acting Foreign Minister of Ambassador’s action and we will, of course, inform Foreign Minister71 prior advising Consuls in north to issue formal warning. We realize the unhappy effects this action on our part may have on military and economic situation of Government but feel that our responsibility to American nationals in threatened areas will not permit us to postpone formal warning for which many of them are waiting beyond another significant military reverse for national armies in north. (See ourtel 1821, October 2,70 repeated Peiping 172, regarding language school Peiping.)

Isolated position Tsingtao and presence US Navy there creates somewhat different problem and we have advised Consul General use his own judgment regarding timing of formal warning to Americans residing Tsingtao (Consul General, Tsingtao, please pass ComNavWesPac72).

Sent Department, repeated Peiping 179, Tientsin 164, Tsingtao 154.

  1. Ante, p. 845.
  2. Wang Shih-chieh.
  3. Ante, p. 845.
  4. Commander, Naval Forces, Western Pacific (Badger).