893.01/8–1249: Telegram

The Chargé in China (Clark) to the Secretary of State

Cantel 932. Face [Fact?] Communist drives from Shansi and Hupeh which appeared headed Szechuan last month, now turned northwest toward Lanchow and south into western Hunan, has led Chinese Government dust off plan for capital Chungking which had previously been virtually relegated ash can (Cantel 833, July 27, repeated Taipei 85, Chungking 72). Two thousand top officials who will remain Canton, after “dispersal” completed (see below), will be ready, as one pressman states, go airport “brief case in hand” (meaning all else has already left Canton) to follow Acting President and Premier [to] Chungking, where they will set up offices close enough airport to be able get out to Formosa when Szechuan is lost.

Figures Central Government dispersal commission indicate 12,000 persons, comprising 8,500 dependents and 3,500 unessential personnel, scheduled depart Canton between August 8 and 20 in final step reduce government to elite “brief case corps”. Ten percent dispersees are going Formosa and represent those government definitely wishes retain, while 90 percent proceeding Chungking are, according one source, “not welcome Taiwan” as government unable even attempt provide quarters and food. Important files plus families and servants of top [Page 485] officials remaining Canton have already been sent Formosa. Thus all information present indicates that if capital moves Chungking it will be merely passed [pause?] in flight en route final resting place Formosa.

Sent Department Cantel 932; repeated Taipei 117, pouched Chungking 81.