The Consul at Tsingtao (Strong) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 4—1:59 a. m.]
1. Admiral Badger2 yesterday indicated he setting January 25 target date completion withdrawal shore based forces Tsingtao. This is date arrival last transport required lift Marines. Actually no loading can be commenced until CNO3 issues redeployment orders which not yet received. Balance of Guam 9th Marines departed January 3, stripping of air base commenced.
As result almost open discussion of withdrawal by some Naval and Marine officers, withdrawal is now open secret Tsingtao, only the date a matter of speculation. British Consulate General January 3 advised heads of first Marines leaving within 10 days. Result has been rush of American, other civilians this office which necessarily stated had no official information imminent withdrawal but suggested that those not intending remain regardless leave soon.
Badger still expressing desire retain recreation facilities as here Tsingtao such as Edgewater, Officers Club, Enlisted Men’s Club, YMCA. Has not brought this matter to attention CNO, may drop it in face opposition of Chief Staff, other members staff. Suggest this question be specifically included next directive view complications which may arise if matter left his decision.
Viewed only locally, there is now no reason for delaying announcement decision withdraw near future. Such public statement would ease Consulate General’s current embarrassment.
Sent Department; repeated Nanking as 3.