294A.1122/5–2650: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in China

top secret

421. Fol authorization is to be considered as guidance for emergency conditions.

Reur 759 May 17 and Deptel 404 May 191 Dept likewise realizes dilemma because of polit considerations, between choice last minute flight and timely and orderly withdrawal. However, situation for Amer officials in Formosa differs markedly from that which existed on mainland. Complications which might fol “capture” of our official [Page 345] personnel in Formosa cld be far more serious for our internal relations than adverse criticism which may fol timely evac. Ur actions shld be guided by precept of internatl law that deparature dipl officers from terr of fon State is justified in seasons of war or civil strife when for any reason safety of their persons or contd performance their duties is jeopardized by maintaining residence or official hdqrs in terr of receiving State.

Dept concurs ur view that early and gradual measures shld be basis evac plan, so that total official party at time closure wld be manageable size for any route or facilities available.

Dept agrees advisable have Dept dipl reps as long as attaches remain. You may make all necessary arrangements with Brit on confidential basis for turnover in case needed. Washington Liaison Group being kept advised evac procedures. Staff reductions authorized this tel are to be considered as stage one and have target date based on gradual rather than mass evac official personnel, which may therefore extend beyond Jun 15.

You authorized cut ConGen staff (except USIS) as recommended ur para nrd 8. Pletcher to remain pending decision on visa functions. Although Dept assumes Vallieres and Lynch also remaining, pls comment.
In view conspicuous role played by USIS Dept desires at this time continuation its functions with two present officers to remain.
Dept has conferred with reps armed services and fol is stage one reduction agreed upon: Army, two officers, one enlisted man; Navy, one officer; Air Force, one officer, one steno-clk. Armed services will communicate with attachés re stationing planes. Air Force favors stationing one plane Naha.
Separate instr to Moyer from ECA gives principles governing scope future ECA activities and requests further advice from Moyer re personnel in light these principles. Dept requests ur comments after consultation Moyer on goal reduction ECA personnel.

Administratively Dept reiterates that if unable comply completely with all instr on disposal or storage USGovt movable property you have complete auth proceed this aspect closure by most feasible means in ur discretion. Under no circumstances shld admin matters in closure post delay ur departure.

Above plans which are based on present estimate contingencies must of course be considered flexible and subj any revision which changes in situation may indicate as desirable.

Dept desires future msgs this subj be classified lower than topsec as that classification is to be used only for material which if disclosed [Page 346] without authorization wld cause exceptionally grave danger to Nation. You may when you feel it desirable indicate limitation distribution.2

  1. See footnote 1 to telegram 405, May 19, to Taipei, p. 343. In telegram 404, the Department warned against the bad effects which might result on Taiwan from a public statement on reduction of United States personnel on the island. The Department wished to avoid the interpretation that any such reduction indicated a United States position that the situation was seriously deteriorating or hopeless on Taiwan. (294A.1122/5–1950)
  2. In connection with evacuation plans for Taiwan, the United States Government raised with the Philippine Government the question of President Chiang Kai-shek and members of the Nationalist Government taking refuge in the Philippines in the event of a precipitate flight from Formosa. In telegram 1603, June 2, from Manila, not printed, the Ambassador in the Philippines (Cowen) informed the Department of President Quirino’s position that Chiang would not be welcome. Foreign Minister Romulo said that if Chiang came to the Philippines he would be given 24 hours to get out. (793.00/6–250)