The Consul at Tsingtao (Strong) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 8—1:40 a. m.]
142. Badger informed Consulate General his force is being reduced somewhat by Navy Department which suggested also place Marine Shore Patrol aboard cruisers. Present plan is retain destroyer tender, repair ship, tug and LCI alongside at Tsingtao. Probable alternate hospital ship Shanghai–Tsingtao. Present number cruisers, destroyers will carry out training from Tsingtao anchorage and visit other ports in area. Seaplane tender remain Tsingtao anchorage. Badger expects retain either flagship or APA will move around area as needed, possibly with flag on cruiser. Aircraft carrier departing without replacement.
Departure other vessels will cut number of berths occupied by US Navy, which desirable in event new local regime able increase trade and shipping. Also affects somewhat emergency evacuation plans in that at Tsingtao an LCI will be available rather than LST which has much larger capacity, and Navy may be obliged abandon boats other equipment in event unexpected departure. At Shanghai passenger lift will be reduced view loss APA though expects keep two LST, one LSM available there. However, other naval shipping in area will be assigned if needed.
Reference shore patrol I expressed concurrence with concept station aboard vessels, without reference effect on vessels’ operations. Badger stated new Mayor requested him leave Marines ashore. Expect decision by mid-May.
Regard Edgewater Mansions which Navy retain on lease in non-operative status, my response to Badger’s query was that as summer season approaches more agitation for its release by Navy for commercial operation would appear. Local group has already brought matter attention Mayor who advised Badger he content with present status of hotel.