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 Mansfield1 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.