393.1115/10–2648: Telegram

The Consul General at Peiping (Clubb) to the Secretary of State

387. Re Tientsin’s A–540, October 23,10 strongly support request that Embassy arrange transportation American citizens and effects Tientsin to Tsingtao or Shanghai, preferably latter. Noting standing instructions evidently contemplate providing nonemergency transport for foreign nationals, assume those same Navy ships would carry such other foreigners as might desire prefer travel at this date. These naturally been implicit in approach to Consular colleagues (reEmbtel 186, October 1911) understanding that nonemergency transport would become available result American arrangements. Colleagues deeply interested possibility arranging evacuation for some their nationals.

[Page 862]

Noting again that Tientsin harbor approach normally freezes about December 15, invite attention to Assistant Naval Attaché’s report Taku bar now stands at 15 feet, that it is silting up at rate 1 foot per month, that LSTs draw 13 feet water and that December 15 therefore represents last practical date for evacuation by LST from Tientsin. Local American population deeply concerned recurrent developments and current departure AAG12 dependents has stirred considerable comment locally. One American news correspondent has already informed Consulate will shortly be necessary write something on evacuation matter view current developments.

In accordance Deptel 189 [188?], October 2 [23?]13 question of evacuation dependents being presented Consular personnel with suggestion those desirous departing on nonemergency basis should be prepared to do so between November 15 and December 1. Estimates number such dependents and foreigners who propose evacuate in face present situation will be ready by October 31. Despite circumstance that all local Americans have shown interest in present developments and various individuals have shown interest in obtaining transport facilities, it is obvious that no reasonably accurate estimate of proportion some 500 Americans proposing depart could be given without asking specific question. Since this office was instructed by Embassy (Embtel 191, October 2314) in this connection refrain from canvassing American citizens until warning might be sent them, however, no estimate such persons will be offered until appropriate action becomes possible. Would emphasize basic fact adequate shipping facilities are now not available even for those Americans and other foreigners who would be desirous of proceeding by normal commercial facilities and therefore strongly recommend arrangements be made for transport from Tientsin at some date or dates November 15 to December 1.

Sent Nanking 584, repeated Department 387 and Tientsin.

  1. Sent to the Department as telegram No. 296, p. 856.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Army Advisory Group.
  4. See footnote 97, p. 858.
  5. Not printed.