125.991H/8–349: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Vice Consul at Kunming (Lutkins)10

56. In view moderate number Amers and relative unimportance Amer investment ur Con district and anticipated difficulties supplying and communicating office if area under Commie control, Dept has decided close offices Kunming [and] Chungking sufficiently in advance Commie takeover permit orderly liquidation, dispersal alien staff and withdrawal Amer staff prior takeover. Administrative instructions and travel orders will be transmitted in separate tel.

Dept desires that no publicity be given decision at this time but is informing you thereof for ur background guidance and in order that forthwith you may unobtrusively take such steps preparatory to closing when Commie advance threatens as may be possible without now indicating decision to close. In this connection Dept desires you issue at once unless you perceive objection thereto warning to Amers contained telCan 475 July 2111 rptd Chungking 52, Kunming 51, revised as follows: Para 1

“Reference is made to the statement issued by this office on November 16, 194812 (suggest Chungking use date April statement13), warning Amcits residing in this consular district who were not prepared to remain under possibly hazardous conditions that they should [Page 1307] plan at once to move to places of safety. In view of hostilities in southern China and the likelihood that hostilities may result in the cutting off of the means of egress from this consular district, this warning is now being repeated in order that Amcits in affected areas may give the most serious consideration to the advisability of evacuation at this time. In this connection Amers are advised to utilize existing transportation facilities while they are still available.”

Para 2 unchanged. Para 3 deleted. Warning shld if possible be issued through confidential means in order avoid publicity possibly harmful Chi Govt. If queried by Amers whether Con remaining event Commie takeover, you shld reply no assurances can be given Con will remain.

Pls inform Dept when warning issued and means transportation now available Amers who wish to leave. To what extent wld fall Canton complicate transportation problem Amers wishing leave and eventual evacuation you and staff?

It is recognized that at a certain stage you shld inform Amer cits that ur office will be closed. Dept in authorizing you give this notification will be guided by ur advice and wishes to be consulted before such action is taken.

  1. Repeated on the same date to the Embassy in China, the Embassy Office at Canton, and the Vice Consul at Chungking as telegrams Nos. 917, telCan 530, and 58, respectively.
  2. Vol. ix, p. 1270.
  3. See Department of State Bulletin, January 2, 1949, p. 29.
  4. See Note to All American Citizens in the Chungking Consular District, April 25, vol. ix, p. 1250.