811.3393/5–2649: Telegram

The Consul at Tsingtao (Strong) to the Secretary of State

209. Liu An-chi, local Chinese military commander, reported as very upset when told morning May 25 last US naval vessel to depart 4 p. m. Stated US Navy had agreed give 48 hours’ notice such move. Endeavored persuade senior naval officer present to remain few days longer. Liu had previous orders be prepared evacuate upon US Navy departure. Although has number of ships, insufficient as yet for complete evacuation. Remainder due next 2 or 3 days. Apparently hoped presence US Navy vessels would help cover withdrawal. Vice Admiral Kwei Yung-ching also in Tsingtao connection evacuation.

City still orderly but people nervous and many shops closed in anticipation trouble from thousands refugees entering from country districts around Tsingtao now or soon to be occupied by Commies, view fact commodities down view dumping by military of supplies levied from population. Silver again at 12 percent premium over US currency. Businesses and property owners generally withholding payment cash levies and taxes on theory Nationalists soon to be out. Liu avoiding admitting withdrawal primarily to collecting largest possible amount money before leaving. This explains his unwillingness take steps allow local leaders organize to preserve order interim period. Mayor states Liu has definite plan in mind for this period. Appears previous plans for destruction of power, water, textile installations, etc., have been abandoned. Workers in these and other plants have been organized by managements for internal security. Red Swastika [Page 1209]continuing operation ECA24 refugee feeding kitchens with remaining ECA stocks. Power and water plants have arranged continuation water supply regardless whether coal ship arrives on schedule May 28.

Speedy withdrawal will lend considerable hope maintenance order if Commies not delay take over unduly.

Sent Nanking 159; repeated OffEmb Canton 63 and Department.

Strong
  1. Economic Cooperation Administration.