Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Chinese Affairs (Sprouse)

Participants: Admiral Wooldridge,16 USN
Captain Hummer,17 USN
Mr. Butterworth, FE
Mr. Stuart,18 CA
Mr. Sprouse, CA

During a discussion of the future status of the U.S. naval forces in China today with Admiral Wooldridge, Mr. Butterworth emphasized the desirability of the Navy Department’s taking steps to ensure that Admiral Badger not move any units of his command to Taiwan or to Hong Kong in the event of his withdrawal from Shanghai and Tsingtao without reference of the matter to Washington for approval. He pointed out that under present circumstances the presence of U.S. naval units at Taiwan might be embarrassing and present undesirable complications in the light of the current U.S. policy regarding Taiwan. [Page 1205] He also said that British reports and apprehensions regarding a possible future Chinese Communist attack on Hong Kong seemed to make it undesirable to have U.S. naval units stationed at that city unless a considered policy decision were made in Washington to have U.S. naval units present when the crisis comes to a head.

Admiral Wooldridge expressed general agreement with the foregoing and said that he would see that Admiral Badger was appropriately instructed in this regard.

  1. Rear Adm. E. T. Wooldridge, Assistant Chief of Naval Operations.
  2. Capt. H. R. Hummer of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
  3. Wallace W. Stuart of the Division of Chinese Affairs.