302. Letter From the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Murphy) to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Irwin)0

Dear Mr. Irwin: I refer to Mr. Knight’s letter of August 27, 1959, and accompanying JCS memorandum,1 on the subject of United States policy toward the smaller offshore islands occupied by the Republic of China.

I believe it important that the United States maintain some degree of flexibility in this matter, and welcome the JCS view that determination of the nature and extent of United States participation in or support of the smaller offshore islands should be made in light of circumstances prevailing at the time. I believe we should seek White House concurrence to the more flexible approach at an early opportunity.

Mr. Knight also expressed the view that for reasons external to the situation in the immediate area or because of changes in the local situation, there may be a time when it will be desirable to make further approaches to the GRC concerning a withdrawal from the islands. While agreeing with the JCS view in the memorandum that it is politically unprofitable for the United States to continue to urge the GRC to withdraw from the smaller islands, a situation could of course develop when it would be advisable to urge the GRC to withdraw from any or all of them. We would be pleased to have your suggestions on the matter at any time.

Sincerely yours,

Robert Murphy2
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/8–2759. Top Secret. Drafted by Kahmann. A September 24 memorandum from Parsons to Murphy which forwarded the draft letter and commented on the views expressed therein is ibid., 794A.5/9–2459; see Supplement.
  2. See Document 290 and the source note thereto.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.