Executive Secretariat Files

Memorandum by the Secretary of State to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Souers)

In accord with established procedure, I submit the following summary of action taken in the implementation of NSC 11/3:10

With respect to Paragraph 1 of NSC 11/3, an understanding was reached, following discussions between representatives of Navy and State Departments, regarding the phased reduction of shore based activities of U.S. Armed Forces at Tsingtao. (The terms of this understanding are set forth in the attached Memorandum of Understanding Between the Acting Secretary of State 11 and the Secretary of the Navy 12 dated January 21, 1949. Copy attached.) According to Paragraph (b) of the memorandum, completion of the reduction should coincide insofar as practicable with the completion of the withdrawal of Chinese naval training facilities from Tsingtao. It is estimated that the removal of these facilities may be completed about February 1, 1949. The Navy Department has established the following schedule for the phased reduction of activities:

(1)
On about February 7 naval port facilities at Tsingtao will be reduced to naval barracks, commissioned officers mess, enlisted men’s club and a small recreation department with limited maintenance and transportation facilities for the foregoing;
(2)
The Marine Corps Air Force at Tsingtao will cease scheduled operations including Military Transport Service about January 31 with personnel embarking about February 7;
(3)
The Fleet Air Wing detachment at Tsingtao will base the Fleet Aircraft Service Squadron afloat on a tender and from there operate the seadrome using the seaplane ramp as circumstances require;
(4)
The First Marines began embarking on January 27;
(5)
The Fleet Marine Force Western Pacific will be embarked by about February 7;
(6)
The Third Marines as a reduced battalion landing team will remain at Tsingtao. Of the estimated 1000 men comprising this unit, an estimated 800 will be embarked in a Naval transport and estimated 200 will be quartered in shore barracks to provide an adequate shore patrol;
(7)
Of 75,000 M/T (measurement tons) of useful equipment, exclusive of semi-permanent installations and excess equipment, estimated on November 2, 1948, to require lifting from Tsingtao, an [Page 1199]estimated 42,000 M/T have now been lifted. Semi-permanent installations, such as quonset huts, will be left in Tsingtao.

It was also agreed between the Navy and State Departments that no announcement would be made from Washington with respect to the foregoing but that the Public Relations Officers of the two Departments would be prepared to meet press inquiries when they arise.

No action is required in connection with Paragraph 2 of NSC 11/3.

With respect to Paragraph 3, the existing program for training units of the Chinese Navy has been suspended and is not being reestablished on Taiwan or at Amoy.

[Annex]

Memorandum of Understanding Between the Acting Secretary of State (Lovett) and the Secretary of the Navy (Forrestal)

It is mutually agreeable to the Acting Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Navy to conduct the redeployment of the U.S. armed forces shore activities at Tsingtao in the manner of a reduction rather than a withdrawal. In carrying out such a reduction, the following is acceptable:

(a)
The phased reduction to begin immediately and at such rate as the Navy Department considers the logistics and other associate military matters renders necessary or advisable.
(b)
No specific date is assigned for completion of the reduction. Such completion should coincide insofar as practicable with the date of completion of the withdrawal of the Chinese Naval Training Center and Chinese Naval Academy from Tsingtao. Should it become evident that the withdrawal of the Chinese Naval Training Center and Chinese Naval Academy is being unduly delayed, reduction should be continued at a rate consistent with the original estimate.
(c)
When the reduction is completed, there will be retained ashore for the present in Tsingtao the necessary recreational facilities for the forces afloat, adequate Marine shore patrol from forces afloat, and barracks to house such personnel employed in connection with these activities.
(d)
The personnel remaining ashore in connection with the activities mentioned in paragraph (c) above should be prepared for rapid embarkation in case of an emergency, abandoning as necessary the small amount of supplies and equipment which will be retained ashore for the support of this personnel.
(e)
The reduction of the shore base activities shall be conducted in such a manner as to best avoid involvement in the fratricidal war.

  1. December 23, 1948, not printed.
  2. Robert A. Lovett, Under Secretary of State.
  3. James Forrestal.