793.5/9–454: Telegram

No. 273
The Secretary of State to the Department of State

top secret

Dulte 1. Eyes only Acting Secretary. I believe that loss of Quemoy would have grave psychological repercussions and lead to mounting Communist action against deteriorating anti-Communist morale so that this would be beginning of chain of events which could gravely jeopardize entire off-shore position. If, however, defense of Quemoy as real estate cannot be substantially related to defense of Formosa and if, as I suspect, committal of US force and prestige might lead to constantly expanding US operations against mainland, then I still believe we should help to hold Quemoy if it is judged defensible with our aid, but I believe that Congress or in first instance Congressional leaders should be consulted as matter of urgency. Senator Smith concurs in US acting. Senator Mansfield 1 not yet here.

  1. H. Alexander Smith (R–New Jersey) and Mike Mansfield (D–Montana) were members of the U.S. Delegation to the Manila Conference.