125.313/8–949: Telegram

The Vice Consul at Chungking ( McGeary ) to the Secretary of State

147. To implement decision close Consulate and permit liquidation orderly windup affairs and withdrawals staff, I recommend closing out USIE21 unit and reducing alien staff of Consulate to six including one radio operator c.o.b.22 September 3. One American officer [Page 1311] will be available for transfer after September 3. Recommend selling after September 3 Consular vehicles, typewriters, refrigerators, rugs, fans and distributing on look basis all USIE material, equipment such as projectors, playbacks, records, films, books immediately upon receipt Department authorization close USIE. No market for furniture. Vice Consul and APAO Theodore Wahl23 will be available for transfer upon completion of liquidation of USIE which should be completed by September 3.

According Consulate’s records, there are presently in Kansu, which is under Communist attack, 78 Americans. In fairness to American citizens who have remained in the district with the solemn assurance that the Consulate expected remain come what may, and that they would receive the same facilities in event of evacuation as Consulate personnel, I believe that American citizens should be advised soonest that Consulate does not expect remain, thereby giving them (an estimated 200 who will not decide until decision regarding Consulate is known) opportunity departing district before Communists take over. Two American officers and one American clerk will be available service American citizens during period liquidation which should be completed by September 17, at which time services remainder alien staff will be terminated, Consulate closed and American members depart.

Plan ship confidential archives Washington via last courier August 14 and unclassified and restricted archives via unaccompanied pouch via Hong Kong soonest.

Present stocks avigas Chungking nil. Shell hopes receive shipment overland 3200 drums now either in Wuchow, Kwangsi, or en route to Liuchow. A maximum of 8,000 pounds of cargo and 2,000 pounds of American personnel totaling 10,000 pounds maximum will be required withdraw staff and effects. Due shortage avigas, prospects orderly departure via Chinese commercial air lines most unpredictable. Departure of large number of Americans and wealthy Chinese may precipitate backlog on commercial lines.

If Department concurs, request authorization (1) approach French or British Consul re custodianship Government-owned compound; (2) special instructions pay alien employees retirement deductions; (3) permission retain two senior alien custodian employees; (4) deposit US currency with French or British custodians pay salaries and essential repairs upkeep through June 30 in view of their chronic difficulties in obtaining funds; (5) openly proceed with orderly liquidation; (6) inform inquirers and Americans that Consulate is closing. Also request travel orders and administrative instructions.

[Page 1312]

Recognize Department may wish Consulate continue function on reduced basis if Nationalist Government move Chungking requires FSO Strong24 and small clerical staff remain here.

Sent Department 147; repeated OffEmb Canton 102; Nanking 148.

McGeary
  1. United States Information and Educational Exchange Program.
  2. Close of business.
  3. Theodore A. Wahl, Vice Consul (Assistant Public Affairs Officer) at Chungking.
  4. Robert C. Strong, First Secretary of Embassy in China, temporarily at Chungking.