110.11 DU/9–554: Telegram

No. 279
The Secretary of State to the Department of State

top secret

Dulte 7. Eyes only Acting Secretary from Secretary. I should like judgment of President and yourself as to whether I should stop at Formosa. I had originally planned this as I have never been there and as the omission of Nationalist China from this conference seemed to call for some offsetting gesture of friendship. The Generalissimo knows of my plan and has sent me a cordial personal invitation to which I have not yet responded.

Since my original plan was made, the Chinese Communist attack on Quemoy has created a tense situation. My visit to Formosa will inevitably attract much attention and will be subject to highly controversial interpretations. Furthermore, I shall be subjected to direct pressures in relation to US participation in Quemoy fighting unless this has been theretofore settled affirmatively by President. European developments give me a plausible pretext for hurrying back although in view of the fact that Formosa is only three hours [Page 573] distant and I only plan to be there for a few hours, this excuse will probably not fool the Generalissimo or many others. It will, however, save his face. I cannot tell when Manila conference will finish. My best guess is Thursday,1 which would mean Formosa next Friday if I go. I myself am inclined to go, but realize that it is a close question.

  1. Sept. 9.