790.00/4–1452: Telegram

No. 20
The Ambassador in India (Bowles) to the Department of State


3777. For Don Kennedy.1 Min External Affairs called my attention to quoted statement allegedly made by Navy Secretary Kimball at Tokyo Apr 2 stating if Chi Natls attempted invade Mainland from Formosa Seventh Fleet wld “stand on sidelines and cheer”.2

Foreign office stated it their understanding Seventh Fleet stationed at Formosa prevent attack on that island by Chi Commies and also prevent Chiang Kai-shek’s troops from attacking mainland and they want know whether there has been change in policy. This request comes from FonMin. However, I said statement did not sound bonafide, that I doubted it had been made, and that in any event our policy remained unchanged. Sincerely hope this statement not accurate as this sort of thing jeopardizes our efforts convince GOI our desire limit conflict and establish peace in Asia if that possible.3

  1. Donald D. Kennedy, Director of the Office of South Asian Affairs.
  2. Kimball’s statement, made in response to a question at a press conference in Tokyo on Apr. 1, was reported in the New York Times of that date.
  3. Telegram 2239 to New Delhi, Apr. 16, indicated that Kimball’s statement was unofficial and that the mission of the Seventh Fleet, as announced by President Truman on June 27, 1950, remained unchanged. (790.00/4–1452) For text of Truman’s statement of June 27, 1950, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1950, p. 492.