893.24/1–1249: Telegram

The Consul General at Peiping (Clubb) to the Secretary of State

30. ReDeptel 8, January 7. General Fu Tso-yi informed Assistant Military Attaché Barrett yesterday that all US arms delivered November from CinCFE have been distributed to his military units and were presently in hands troops variously disposed. Some troops thus equipped were in Chahar–Suiyuan area.

[Page 476]

Fu indicated food stocks Peiping were adequate for both military and civil needs for considerable period. Information received by ECA13 from Vice Chairman Food Rationing Committee Peiping indicates following food supplies held Peiping: 70 percent population has 2 months’ food supply, 30 percent have supplies for 10 days, grain merchants 15 days’ supply, city and provincial governments 10 days’ supply. ECA representative believed army supplies were adequate for minimum 2 months generally with some units better off still.

Believe present foodstuffs Peiping adequate meet needs for 60 days without replenishment. Town at present has two airfields (one fully adequate in technical size although surfacing poor, second too short and surface too soft for heavy use) as possible channel help while a third field is in process construction (see Contel even date14). Airlift supplies from Tsingtao or Shanghai is therefore theoretically feasible. Invite attention Department, however, following circumstances:

Loss Tsingtao following hypothetical departure American Navy would substantially hamper any projected airlift to Peiping because of lack adequate gas line supply here;
It seems highly improbable that Nationalist Government would in any event assign adequate number planes and allocate grain and flour supply for operation;
Political situation must be viewed as highly unstable with Fu intending hold out at latest only until given excuse by developments Nanking and possibly forced capitulate earlier; and
With local troops ineffective, many hiding behind historical monuments and command quite lacking in offensive spirit, close investment Peiping by Communist forces (participants when reinforced by additional troops from Tientsin area) enables Communists deny use any and all Peiping airfields to transport planes by simple expedient placing artillery in near vicinity Peiping and shelling three air strips. In circumstances it is believed no undertaking should be projected on basis assumption Fu Tso-yi contemplates important long term military operations centered upon Peiping.

Sent Department; Tientsin 16.

  1. Economic Cooperation Administration.
  2. Telegram No. 28, January 12, not printed.