The Consul at Tsingtao (Strong) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 2—5:55 a. m.]
61. Remytel 58 to Dept January 31,9 repeated Embassy 56. Yesterday discussed with Admiral Badger future position Marines ashore, vessels at anchor, Tsingtao, as training anchorage shore liberty area.
In my opinion, Marines (some 200 ashore, 300 on transport at piers) primarily moral force with calming effect incipient trouble if used in mobile patrols cooperation with Chinese police and military police; at beginning Nationalist withdrawal should consult closely police (who expected remain at posts) and Chinese military commander on measures [Page 1197]keep order, maintain discipline Nationalist troops. As turnover occurs Marines in delicate position but doubtful Communists create incident view fact Marines aiding them take over orderly fashion, should be withdrawn soonest when order assured or unable cope widespread disorder. Timing withdrawal should remain judgment senior officer on spot and Consul General.
Re vessels, desirable retain several as haven for civilians if required, also as moral effect. Presence carrier and air activity to [too] calming effect.
Expressed personal opinion use Tsingtao anchorage legal until new regime recognized de facto but doubt Communists agree maintenance US-controlled shore recreation facilities or even shore liberty. After recognition use Tsingtao anchorage must be by mutual agreement.
Flagship scheduled leave cruise February 10, no longer spend major portion time Tsingtao. During absence Badger, commander cruisers [and] destroyers expected be present as senior officer. All shore activities directly under control ComServron 3 with whom Consul General on best of terms.
Badger expressed no dissent my opinions, requested Consul General keep him directly informed developments after departure flagship.
Sent Nanking 61, repeated Canton 1, Department 61.
- Not printed.↩