57. Memorandum for the Record, by the President1
Admiral Radford visited me at the White House in the late afternoon of January 28th. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the instructions going to the C.-in-C. in the Pacific area with relation to activity in the Formosa area. The basic document for discussion at the conference was the operational order to the C.-in-C. in the Pacific which was sent to him by the Chief of Naval Operations.2[Page 164]
- It was agreed that if called upon by the Chinese Nationals, the American forces would assist in the evacuation of the Tachens.
- It was further agreed that if any attack was made against this operation, that the American forces were, of course, fully authorized to defend themselves as necessary.
- It was agreed that there would be no attack on Chinese bases unless this was essential to the success of the operation. It was further agreed that if such attacks became necessary, they would be carried out only against air fields positively identified as contributing forces to the attacks against us.
- Finally, it was agreed that the Commander in the area would authorize no attacks against the Chinese mainland on any initial sortie by the ChiComs. It would first be determined by the Tactical Commander that the purpose of the ChiComs was to continue the attacks before this type of action would be undertaken. However, it was to be clearly understood that if the ChiComs undertook a consistent and persistent air attack against the operation, that the United States forces would be authorized within the limits above stated to take such action as was essential to protect themselves and to assure the success of the operation.
Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International Series. Top Secret. Sent to Admiral Radford with a covering memorandum dated January 29, 1955, which reads as follows:
“Attached is a memorandum I have just dictated of our conversation yesterday. Please make on it any notations or corrections you believe necessary and return to me. I will furnish you with a copy of the corrected document as agreed upon. DE” (Ibid.)
For Radford’s memorandum in reply, see Document 64. A second “Memorandum for the Record” by the President, dated January 31, is identical in substance with this one, except that sub-paragraph d. reads as follows:
“It was finally agreed that the United States Commander could attack the airfields from which the Chinese Communist air forces were operating if necessary in defense of his own forces engaged in the operation.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International Series)↩
- The reference is unclear, but see telegram JCS 975067, infra .↩
The initials are typed on the source text. According to Hagerty’s diary entry for January 29, the President dictated this memorandum immediately after signing H.J. Res. 159 and before departing for Augusta, Georgia. Hagerty’s diary continues:
“The President also asked me to have Andy Goodpaster notify the military to report immediately to Goodpaster any incidents that might occur—if any—so that Goodpaster could immediately notify me who would, of course, in turn, immediately notify the President.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Hagerty Papers)↩