124.93/1–2749: Telegram

The Ambassador in China ( Stuart ) to the Secretary of State

249. At meeting North Atlantic group today I informed them of our decision re government’s move Canton (Deptel 104, January 26), Belgian, Canadian and Netherlands Ambassadors said their instructions were to follow our lead. British expressed concurrence our decision and indication recommend strongly his Government do likewise. French Ambassador took same position, but indicated possibility which he did not believe likely his Government might require him go Shanghai. In absence Foreign Minister, I have advised senior Vice Minister Foreign Office of our decision. As press will undoubtedly become aware [Page 670] of our move, we plan to state simply that Clark is proceeding with requisite staff to Canton for purpose of establishing section Embassy there and, if queried re Ambassador’s movements, will say merely that he is remaining Nanking for time being. North Atlantic group agreed unanimously this policy in respect of press.

As use of airfields Nanking may be interdicted at Communists’ will, Clark will plan his departure with staff on our best estimate Communist intentions.