393.1115/10–2048: Telegram

The Consul General at Tientsin (Smyth) to the Secretary of State

292. Total Americans Tientsin now 177 (reEmbtel 170, October 1882) of which 80 men, 79 women and 37 children, latter 13 are of Chinese or part Chinese race, of total 16 are FS personnel and 10 FS dependents, but not many businessmen (few have dependents) would leave if mild warning quoted reftel were issued in circumstances indicated. Nearly all consider presence here essential. Stronger warning and, in case of businessmen, graver situation would be needed to make majority leave. Some businessmen now express opinion they would take chance under Communists but qualify statement by saying it depends if Communists [are] Manchurian or “within-Wall” group; missionaries generally feel their work could not be carried on under Communist regime.

We favor issuance Embassy suggested warning but feel it should be followed by stronger warning upon further deterioration situation. Second warning should point out dangerous anti-American reaction which a policy of increased US military aid to Nationalist Government might have on communism.

When first warning issued, some may wish ship effects although not depart themselves. Therefore, arrangements should be made with US Navy to transport to Shanghai effects of Americans here and Peiping as inadequate commercial transport from Tientsin will prove bottleneck to evacuation of effects as well as persons.

Sent Nanking 532, repeated Department 292, Peiping.

  1. Sent to the Department as telegram No. 1926, p. 852.