235. Telegram From the Chief of Naval Operations (Burke) to the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Felt)0

112047Z. COMUSTDC 110830Z.1 If ChiComs do resume firing on even days it will be because their recent actions have not been successful in accomplishing their objectives. We will have an opportunity to condemn ChiCom continued use of force despite our attempts to ease tensions. So our policies may not be as bad as COMTAIWANDEFCOM (US) seems to think.

Feeling here at highest level is that firm but unprovocative stand is beginning to pay off with gain in public support for way situation has been handled, and this not right time take any action which will change this.

Therefore, with full understanding COMTAIWANDEFCOM feeling of impatience against restrictions his freedom of action, cannot at this [Page 484]time concur his approval photo recon ChiCom arty positions Kinmen area. Approval of use of LSD, resumption deep recon flights and action reassert our rights in international waters must await further developments and discussions with JCS and State. Will advise.

COMTAIWANDEFCOM has authority resume escort if militarily necessary but assume he will advise prior taking that action. State concurs.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/11–1158. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Rear Admiral U.S.G. Sharp, Assistant Director of the Strategic Plans Division in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans and Policy; and approved by Burke. Repeated to COMTAIWANDEFCOM(US). The documents cited in footnotes 1 and 2 below are in the Supplement.
  2. Telegram 110830Z from COMUSTDC/MAAG TAIWAN to CINCPAC argued that by following a policy of “complete non-provocation,” the United States had “lost the initiative,” negated its strong and positive reactions to the earlier Communist probes, and “permitted Chicoms to control situation.” (Department of State, FE/EA Files: Lot 63 D 168, U.S. Policy Toward Taiwan and the GRC)
  3. Tedul 8 to Seattle, November 12, informed Secretary Dulles that Admiral Burke had discussed Smoot’s message with Robertson, who had advised him “that this involved questions in which the President took a very personal interest.” (Ibid., Central Files, 611.93/11–1258)