Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower papers, Whitman file

No. 289
Memorandum of Discussion at the 213th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, September 9, 19541

top secret


Present at this meeting were the Vice President of the United States, presiding; the Acting Secretary of State; the Secretary of Defense; General Porter for the Director, Foreign Operations Administration; the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization. Also present were the Acting Secretary of the Treasury; the Attorney General (for Items 1–5); the Director, Bureau of the Budget; the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (for Items 1–5 and 7); the Acting Director, U.S. Information Agency (for Item 2); the Deputy Secretary of Defense; the Secretaries of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; Assistant Secretary of Defense McNeil; the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army; the Chief of Naval Operations; the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force; the Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; the Director of Central Intelligence; Robert Cutler, Special Assistant to the President; Robert R. Bowie, Department of State; the White House Staff Secretary; the Executive Secretary, NSC; and the Deputy Executive Secretary, NSC.

There follows a summary of the discussion at the meeting and the main points taken.

. . . . . . .

3. Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security (SNIE 100–4-54)2

The Director of Central Intelligence devoted his entire briefing to the situation with respect to the various offshore islands now under control of the Chinese Nationalists, with particular emphasis on Quemoy.

With the assistance of two charts,3 Mr. Dulles discussed the geographic features and the strategic position of the Quemoys, indicating the likely beachheads for an amphibious landing.

[Page 584]

Thereafter, Mr. Dulles presented a detailed review of the military power of the Chinese Nationalists and Chinese Communists, beginning with the former. Total CNG strength on the Quemoys was estimated at 40,000 regulars plus 11,000 guerrillas. The civilian population on the Quemoys numbered 6,000. All but one of the Chinese Nationalist divisions on the Quemoys had had U.S. training and were equipped with MDAP equipment. The Chinese Nationalist Government had alerted an additional 11,000 men on Formosa to be moved in to assist in the defense of the Quemoys if necessary.

The Chinese Nationalist Air Force was estimated to be capable of 175 air sorties per day over the Amoy region. To date, the maximum number of sorties actually flown had only reached 75.

Chinese Nationalist naval support available for the defense of the Quemoys consisted of two destroyers, three destroyer escorts, and additional smaller vessels. The destroyers carried 5-inch guns. The other vessels were armed with 3-inch guns.

Approximately 15 days’ supply was estimated to be on hand in the Quemoys at present. Supplies for 45 days for Quemoy were estimated to be on hand in Formosa, but all such additional supply would have to be transported.

The morale of the forces, according to the latest reports, was said to be “not low”, but capable of improvement. U.S. military personnel on the island at the present time consisted of 10 officers and men attached to the MAAG. There were in addition eight CIA personnel now on the islands.

Mr. Dulles then turned to the strength available to the Chinese Communists. It was estimated that some 150,000 men would be required to capture the Quemoys. Well over this number of Chinese Communist troops were available within 150 miles of Amoy, and they would be combat-fit. Two Chinese Communist jet squadrons were located near Amoy, and there were four airfields available for operations. The Chinese Communist Navy, on the other hand, was of negligible strength, consisting of six small patrol boats and 400 or 500 junks.

In conclusion, Mr. Dulles gave a brief resume of operations against the Quemoys to date, and also indicated the view of the British Joint Intelligence Committee. This body had concluded that the evidence was insufficient to determine whether the Chinese Communist bombardment of the Quemoys was a propaganda gesture designed to embarrass the Manila negotiations for SEATO, or [Page 585] actually portended a Chinese Communist attempt to seize these islands.

Mr. Dulles also referred to the National Intelligence Estimate respecting the offshore islands, noting key pages and notable dissents in the document (SNIE 100–4-54, filed in the minutes of the meeting).

At the conclusion of Mr. Dulles’ lengthy and detailed briefing, the Vice President inquired how the build-up of Chinese Nationalist forces on the Quemoys had occured. Had this large garrison existed on the island ever since the withdrawal of the Nationalist forces from the mainland?

Mr. Dulles replied by stating that except for one undermanned division which had been on Quemoy since the loss of mainland China, the forces now on the islands had been put there largely as a result of U.S. encouragement. Admiral Radford contradicted Mr. Dulles, and said that the Quemoys had had a garrison approximately the present size ever since the abandonment of the mainland. It was, however, only a year ago last July that the United States had enlarged its program of training and assistance to include Nationalist forces on these outlying islands. This change of U.S. policy had finally permitted the rotation of Nationalist divisions. Prior to this time the garrison had been static.

Mr. Dulles went on to point out that one of the major uses of the Quemoys had been to provide bases for guerrilla raids against the Chinese mainland. In the last year there had been no such raids because experience had shown that they were not very profitable.

The Vice President explained that the point of his question was to get some indication of the degree to which the safety of the Quemoy garrison should be considered a responsibility of the United States and how far the prestige of the United States had been committed with respect to the security of the Quemoys. Admiral Radford replied to the Vice President’s question by stating his belief that our prestige had been committed 100%. While we had not extended our military aid and assistance program to Chinese Nationalist forces on the offshore islands until last summer, we had actually been encouraging the Chinese Nationalist Government to hold on to these islands since 1951. This latter fact was, of course, well known to the Chinese Communists.

The National Security Council:4

Noted an oral briefing by the Director of Central Intelligence on the situation with respect to Quemoy and other offshore islands [Page 586] held by Chinese Nationalist forces; and an oral summary of SNIE 100–4-54, “The Situation With Respect to Certain Islands Off the Coast of Mainland China”.

4. Chinese Nationalist Offshore Islands (NSC Action No. 1206-f;5 NSC 5429/2;6 NSC 146/2, paras. 9–107)

Mr. Cutler briefed the Council on its prior consideration of the offshore islands, and read the pertinent paragraphs (9 and 10) of U.S. policy toward Formosa. He then referred to the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which had not been presented as yet in writing, and requested Secretary Wilson or Admiral Radford to present these views at this point orally to the Council.

Secretary Wilson invited Admiral Radford to discuss the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At the outset, Admiral Radford stated that the views of the Joint Chiefs on the subject were split. The majority view, which he endorsed, regarded the retention of the offshore islands as of very great importance, and recommended the use of U.S. armed forces, if necessary, to prevent Communist seizure of these islands. Moreover, the majority view recommended that if the United States did decide to provide such armed assistance, there should be no public announcement of this decision. Ten of these islands, said Admiral Radford, were regarded as really important. The remainder had little significance.

Admiral Radford then indicated that the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Ridgway, dissented from this majority view. According to Admiral Radford, General Ridgway did not believe that any of these offshore islands was of sufficient military importance to warrant commitment of United States forces to hold them. Moreover, General Ridgway, said Admiral Radford, did not believe that the political and psychological importance of these islands (as opposed to their strictly military importance) was a matter which the Joint Chiefs of Staff should “take into consideration” in the expression of their views.

At this point, General Ridgway himself intervened to observe that Admiral Radford has misstated his position with respect to the last point. He said it would be correct to say that the Chief of Staff of the Army did not believe that the political and psychological importance of the islands was “a matter for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to evaluate”. General Ridgway said that this was an important distinction, [Page 587] after which Admiral Radford read to the Council from General Ridgway’s written views.8

Mr. Cutler inquired whether it was not a fact that both the majority and the minority opinion in the Joint Chiefs of Staff were in agreement on at least the following important points: First, that the Chinese Nationalists would be unable to hold these offshore islands without United States assistance, and that, secondly, from the strictly military viewpoint, none of these offshore islands was essential to the defense and security of Formosa itself. Admiral Radford agreed that the islands were not essential to the defense of Formosa, but said that they had great importance even from the strictly military point of view. After further discussion of the strategic importance of these islands, Admiral Radford read the remainder of General Ridgway’s minority opinion and also the conclusions of the majority view of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Cutler then inquired as to the general character of the military commitment which the United States would have to make in order to defend successfully the important offshore islands. Admiral Radford said that of course the size of the U.S. commitment would depend in the last analysis on the size of the Chinese Communist effort, but it was the view of the majority of the Chiefs of Staff that initially, at any rate, the United States could provide an adequate defense of these islands with forces that were available in the Western Pacific at the present time. If the Chinese Communists enlarged their own operations, we would be obliged in turn to step up our own forces. Such a course of action, however, would apply to any kind of limited military action to put out “brush-fire” wars, as outlined in NSC 162/2.9

Mr. Cutler then inquired if it would be necessary to use U.S. ground forces in a successful defense of these islands. Admiral Radford replied that in the majority opinion of the Joint Chiefs, United States ground forces would not be needed. General Ridgway, however, believed that it would be necessary to commit at least one United States division.

Mr. Cutler then inquired as to the probable character of any action which might have to be taken by U.S. forces against the Chinese Communist mainland. Admiral Radford replied that this varied in different areas. In the case of the northern group (the Tachen Islands) a successful defense could probably be conducted without any action against the mainland. However, if the Chinese [Page 588] Communists threw in all their available air power against the Tachens, it might be necessary to strike against mainland air bases. In the case of the central group of islands somewhat the same situation would obtain as in the case of the Tachens. With respect to the Quemoys, however, it could be taken as certain that operations by U.S. armed forces would require some action against the mainland in order, for example, to silence the shore batteries and sink the junks. Admiral Radford added that it was the majority opinion that no decision to commit U.S. forces to the defense of these islands should be made unless the U.S. Commander were to be permitted to attack such mainland military installations as he deemed necessary. We do not want to repeat the mistake of the Yalu River decision, which permitted a sanctuary for Communist aircraft. Admiral Radford concluded that it was certainly the view of the majority of the Chiefs, and probably a view in which General Ridgway would join the majority, that if there were to be restrictions against attacks on the Communist mainland the Joint Chiefs of Staff would recommend against the provision of U.S. armed assistance for the defense of the islands.

Secretary Wilson pointed out that he had been away from Washington when the issue of the defense of the offshore islands had first come up, but that he had gone over the papers relating to the problem since his return. As a result of his conversations with Chiang Kai-shek in Formosa last May, he was well aware of the great store that the Nationalists put by these islands. Nevertheless, he did not think that we should commit our forces to the defense of these islands without clear recognition that all three branches of the Services would become engaged. This would be no partial war. Thinking broadly, continued Secretary Wilson, it was his view that if we were going to get ourselves involved in a war with Communist China at all, the time to have become involved would have been during the Korean war or during the hostilities in Indochina. He was opposed to getting into war over these “doggoned little islands”. Rightly or wrongly, there seemed to him a great deal of difference between Formosa and the Pescadores, on the one hand, and these close-in islands, on the other. While these islands were helpful to us in some ways, they were a handicap to us in others. Quemoy presented a particularly tough problem because in order to defend it successfully the United States would have to attack mainland China. It would be extremely difficult to explain, either to the people of the United States or to our allies, why, after refusing to go to war with Communist China over Korea and Indochina, we were perfectly willing to fight over these small islands.

Mr. Cutler then called upon the Acting Secretary of State to present the tentative views of his department. Secretary Smith said [Page 589] that the views that he would present were tentative, since Secretary Dulles was out of the country. However, he had been in communication with Secretary Dulles on the subject of the offshore islands, and would first present the Secretary’s personal views since, of course, Secretary Dulles had had no opportunity to discuss the issue with his advisers in the State Department. In any event, Secretary Dulles had up to now taken the view that the United States should assist the Chinese Nationalists to defend these islands, even though they were not militarily essential to the defense of Formosa, provided these islands were militarily defensible and after talking with Congressional leaders. In a second message to Secretary Smith on the subject, Secretary Dulles had reiterated the importance he attached to the estimate that these islands could be defended if U.S. forces were provided. If the islands were not militarily defensible we would simply be involved in another Dien Bien Phu, with all its serious implications.

After thus summarizing the views of Secretary Dulles, Secretary Smith proceeded to give his own personal views on the problem. In the first place, he was inclined to agree with the views of the G–2 member, rather than of the State member, of the Intelligence Advisory Committee, as set forth in SNIE 100–4-54, that the Chinese Communists would make a determined effort to capture the Quemoys even if they were convinced that United States armed forces would be committed in order to hold the islands. Secondly, if they were prepared to take the heavy casualties resulting from such action, Secretary Smith said he believed that the Chinese Communists could capture the Quemoys unless the United States committed ground forces to their defense. Thirdly, the loss of the Quemoys would have a very serious adverse effect on the prestige of the United States. If we did undertake to commit U.S. forces and these islands nevertheless were captured, the adverse effect on U.S. prestige would be even more serious. Fourth, Secretary Smith said he was inclined to doubt whether the Quemoys were so vitally important to the defense of Formosa that we should commit United States armed forces to their defense unless we were reasonably sure in advance of success. Fifth, Secretary Smith said it was in his view pretty certain that the defense of the Quemoys would involve action on a considerable scale against the Chinese Communists, and would also involve the necessity of committing U.S. ground forces.

At the conclusion of Secretary Smith’s comments, Secretary Wilson said that he had one more point to add to his earlier remarks. Before getting ourselves into a war with Communist China, we ought to figure out how we will wind up such a war. The United States is not a nation which is accustomed to fighting limited [Page 590] or undeclared wars. If we put U.S. ground forces on the Quemoys, or use our Air Force against the Chinese Communist shore batteries, we would have committed an act of war. This, said Secretary Wilson, would require the authority of the Congress, and he doubted in any case whether such a course of action was really in the interest of the United States at this time.

The Vice President inquired whether Secretary Wilson had any alternative to offer, and Secretary Wilson indicated that he had no such alternative at the present time, but hoped to present one subsequently.

Mr. Cutler then inquired if General Ridgway wished to add anything to the discussion. General Ridgway said he would appreciate an opportunity to read three conclusions from his paper which explained in greater detail his earlier views as presented by Admiral Radford.

Addressing himself to Admiral Radford, Mr. Cutler reminded him that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had at a recent Council meeting10 presented a report11 on the desirability of creating an International Volunteer Air Group (IVAG). It had been the view of the Joint Chiefs that while plans for such a group should be made, these plans should not be implemented at the present time. Accordingly, the Council had deferred action on creating IVAG. Nevertheless, said Mr. Cutler, did not the IVAG offer a third alternative to either doing nothing for the defense of these islands or committing overtly U.S. armed forces to their defense? Formosa might act as the host country to the Volunteer Air Group, and it could undertake armed action against the Chinese Communists without directly committing the prestige of the United States.

Admiral Radford replied that in order to answer Mr. Cutler’s inquiry it would be best to turn back into history. Something like IVAG, General Chennault’s “Flying Tigers”, had been set up in the early stages of the war against Japan.12 The existence of this group had been well known to the Japanese. Special legislation had to be enacted in order to permit United States officers to serve with the Chennault group. For the most part, also, the Chunking Government had paid the costs of the Flying Tigers. The situation today was very different. The United States would be obliged to [Page 591] bear all the expenses of IVAG and to furnish all the planes, and, as he had said earlier in Council discussion of the subject, he believed that these planes could be more usefully employed by the U.S. Air Force. Furthermore, continued Admiral Radford, the subterfuge of an International Voluntary Air Group wouldn’t really work. Everyone would realize that it was sponsored by the United States. Chiang Kai-shek might well not agree to permitting Formosa to be the host country. Finally, IVAG alone could not possibly be a substitute for U.S. commitment of its armed forces. If these islands were to be successfully defended we would certainly have to provide almost all the logistical support as well as whatever naval support was required.

The Vice President said that he had three questions which he would like to put to the Director of Central Intelligence, on the assumption that the United States decided not to commit the armed forces necessary to defend the offshore islands and contented itself with providing assistance for the evacuation of the islands. The three questions were: First, to what extent would the prestige of the United States suffer if we permitted these islands to be lost? Second, to what extent would Chinese Communist prestige be enhanced by the seizure of these islands? Third, what would be the effect on the morale of the Chinese Nationalists on Formosa if they lost the offshore islands?

In response to the first question Mr. Dulles replied that the prestige of the United States would suffer much less if we completely evacuated the islands, including civilians as well as military personnel, as opposed to a simple abandonment of these islands and their populations to the enemy. With respect to the second point, Mr. Dulles said that undoubtedly the prestige of the Chinese Communists would greatly increase if they succeeded in capturing the Quemoys. In part, at least, the prestige of the United States is already involved with these islands. As regarded the Vice President’s third question, Mr. Dulles said that he did not believe that over the long run the loss of the offshore islands would have a very grave impact on the morale of the Chinese Nationalist Government and the forces on Formosa.

Admiral Radford said he disagreed with Mr. Dulles’ response to the third question. He doubted very much whether we could ever induce Chiang Kai-shek to agree to evacuate his forces from Formosa, but even if he could be brought to agree to this, the result might be a revolt and the loss of control of Formosa. Formosa might even go over to the Communists. We must consider our course of action in the light of our total strategic position in the Far East.

[Page 592]

The Vice President then invited Secretary Smith to comment on this difference in viewpoint. Secretary Smith, again speaking personally, said he was inclined to side with Admiral Radford. He then said that he believed that there were some alternatives to either giving up the islands to enemy control or committing U.S. military forces to save them. Among the things that we might do, should we decide not to intervene in strength with our armed forces, were the following: We could certainly provide greatly needed additional long-range artillery to the Nationalist forces on Quemoy. We could keep the U.S. Fleet nearby, and we could avoid disclosing U.S. intentions. We could undertake to replace all planes and naval vessels lost by the Chinese Nationalists, and we could provide additional anti-aircraft artillery. We could keep open the lines of communication and tell the world we were proposing to do so. The Chinese Communists might well deduce that more was meant by such a statement than we had actually in mind. Finally, we could agree to take part in a “rescue operation”. Secretary Smith said that he had discussed this latter idea with the President over the telephone, but that the President had considerable doubts as to its validity. The President had argued that if we were going to commit U.S. armed forces to a rescue operation, why not commit them to the defense of the Quemoys?

Mr. Dulles pointed out that one of the chief uses of the offshore islands in the past had been to provide a base for guerrilla operations. There had been no guerrilla operations against the mainland for about a year; hence the islands no longer really served this purpose. Secretary Smith commented that in addition to providing bases from which guerrilla raids could be launched, these offshore islands had been useful in providing a military threat to the Communist mainland which had compelled the Chinese Communists to deploy a number of divisions to guard against the threat. Indeed, when he had been Director of Central Intelligence, and after Mr. Allen Dulles had taken over, this had been the original objective in holding on to the offshore islands. Neither he nor Mr. Dulles had at that time seriously considered the possibility of any last-ditch defense of these islands. Doubtless Chiang Kai-shek has come to take a quite different view of the importance of the islands.

Admiral Radford, speaking from the viewpoint of his former position as CINCPAC, said that there were still other advantages in holding on to these islands—notably as a potential jumping-off point for a Nationalist invasion of the mainland. Indeed, it was precisely this threat which made the Chinese Communists so anxious to capture the islands. Admiral Radford also pointed out that although when he first took office President Eisenhower had publicly [Page 593] changed the orders of the Seventh Fleet in such fashion as to permit the Chinese Nationalists to make raids on the mainland, in point of fact we had privately informed Chiang Kai-shek that he must undertake no such actions without U.S. concurrence. Accordingly, we have had in effect a continuing veto on Chinese Nationalist raids against the mainland.

Referring to Secretary Smith’s earlier discussion of possible alternative courses of action to assist in defending the islands by replacement of Chinese Nationalist losses of aircraft, naval vessels, etc., Mr. Cutler asked whether we could not do more than merely replace losses and actually provide promptly additional aircraft, naval vessels, etc., to the Chinese Nationalists. Were the Chinese Nationalists in a position to make effective use of additional U.S. matériel?

Admiral Radford replied that while the Chinese Nationalists could probably make use of more aircraft than we have thus far supplied to them, this could not be done in time to have any decisive effect on the action against Quemoy. Admiral Radford said that the Nationalists were very reluctant to risk their prized F–84 jets for the defense of Quemoy, since they thought these aircraft might be needed to defend Formosa itself. The Nationalists might, however, be willing to risk these F–84’s over Amoy if they were assured that the United States would replace losses. Admiral Radford then read from a message of inquiry on this subject which he had sent to Admiral Stump, and from Admiral Stump’s preliminary reply on the Chinese Nationalist supply situation.13

Mr. Cutler then asked Mr. Dulles to comment on the effect of the following assumption: If Admiral Radford’s recommendations were adopted and the Executive went to Congress to seek authority to strike against Communist China (which, of course, would be public information), what effect would these moves have on the Soviet Union and on the relationship between Russia and Communist China?

In answering this question, Mr. Dulles said he wanted to make clear in the first place that the majority of the Intelligence Advisory Committee, with the exception of G–2, had expressed the view that if the Chinese Communists became convinced that the United States would commit its armed forces, the Chinese Communists would not actually press the attack against the Quemoys. He gathered, said Mr. Dulles, that Secretary Smith disagreed with this majority view. Secretary Smith added that in his opinion the Chinese Communists would launch the attack unless convinced that the United States would go to all-out intervention against Communist [Page 594] China. Mr. Dulles then went on to add that in the event that the United States did push the attack into China proper, beyond the local Amoy area, the Chinese Communists would certainly try to invoke the Sino-Soviet pact.

Apropos of this discussion, General Ridgway pointed out that as he was leaving his office that morning to come to the Council meeting, he had had a report from his G–2, General Trudeau, to the effect that the members of the Intelligence Advisory Committee had reversed their previous estimate and now agreed with him that the Chinese Communists would press the attack against Quemoy even if they were aware that the United States would intervene to defend Quemoy. The Director of Central Intelligence commented, with some irritation, that it would have been useful for him to have had information of this change of view before briefing the National Security Council. Admiral Radford noted that he likewise had been ignorant of this change of position.

Dr. Flemming inquired whether, if the recommendations of Admiral Radford and the majority of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were adopted, it would be necessary to seek authority from Congress to carry out this course of action. The Attorney General replied that of course the President can and must do whatever is necessary for the defense of the United States, but it was highly advisable, policy-wise, to seek Congressional authority if time permitted. Secretary Smith added that if the Joint Chiefs of Staff were to inform the President that these offshore islands were essential to the defense of Formosa, the President would have at least the technical authority to intervene with U.S. armed forces to defend these islands. It was questionable, however, whether this technical authority could carry over and include a U.S. attack against the Chinese Communist mainland.

Admiral Radford expressed agreement with this opinion, and cited the precedents set by President Truman. He said he believed that Congress would readily support the kind of action envisaged by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and warned that if the Council decided it was necessary for the President to go before Congress in order to have authority to defend these offshore islands, we could not guarantee that the islands could be held. If they were to be held, the U.S. reaction must be quick if not automatic, and seeking Congressional authority was likely to consume a considerable period of time.

Dr. Flemming asked why the Joint Chiefs of Staff had recommended against any public announcement of a decision by the United States to commit its armed forces to the defense of Quemoy. Admiral Radford replied that the primary reason behind this recommendation [Page 595] was that if no U.S. announcement were made it would help to confuse the enemy with respect to our intention.

Secretary Smith cited certain statements of Secretary Dulles, notably at his recent press conference in Formosa, in which the Secretary of State had indicated his view that the relationship of the offshore islands to the over-all defense of Formosa was primarily a military question.14

. . . . . . .

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Drafted by Gleason on Sept. 10.
  2. Document 276.
  3. The charts, not attached to the source text, were probably the two maps included in CIA Report No. 50318, “The Chinese Offshore Islands,” Sept. 8, 1954; Dulles’ briefing at this meeting, except for a few discrepancies, followed this report closely. One of the maps is entitled “South China Coast (incl. Formosa): Location of Airfields and Status of Off-Shore Islands.” The other map, entitled “Communist Shelling of Quemoys,” is a large-scale map of the Quemoy Islands and the surrounding area. Neither is reproduced. The CIA report is in the Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower papers, Whitman file.
  4. The following paragraph constitutes NSC Action 1214. (S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) files, lot 66 D 95, “Record of Actions by the National Security Council, 1954”)
  5. See footnote 15, Document 256.
  6. See footnote 16, ibid.
  7. Document 150.
  8. The document under reference and the JCS majority view referred to in the following paragraph were apparently enclosures either to the JCS memorandum of Sept. 2 cited in footnote 2, Document 270, or to Radford’s memorandum of Sept. 11 to Wilson, Document 291.
  9. See footnote 3, Document 150.
  10. On Aug. 18.
  11. Reference is to the appendix to a Department of Defense memorandum of July 7 (for text, see vol. xii, Part 1, p. 604), circulated to the National Security Council with a memorandum of July 9 from Gleason.
  12. The American Volunteer Group, under the command of Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault, served as a unit of the Chinese armed forces from August 1941 until July 1942; see Department of State, United States Relations With China (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1949), pp. 28–29.
  13. Presumably Documents 285 and 286.
  14. This memorandum of discussion does not record any action taken by the Council regarding this agenda item, but according to the NSC Record of Actions, 1954, in NSC Action No. 1215, the Council:

    • “a. Noted the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding the defense of the Chinese Nationalist offshore islands, as presented orally at the meeting by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    • “b. Discussed the subject in anticipation of its further consideration at the next Council meeting with the President presiding.” (S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) files, lot 66 D 95)