335. National Security Council Report0
STATEMENT OF U.S. POLICY ON HONG KONG
- Continuation of Hong Kong’s status as a Free World outpost.
- Enhancement of Hong Kong’s usefulness as a base for U.S. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] information programs.
- Economic, social and political conditions in Hong Kong that will continue to contrast favorably with conditions in Communist China.
- Since a Chinese Communist take-over of Hong Kong would be prejudicial to U.S. and Free World interests in the Far East, encourage the British to maintain their position in Hong Kong, to provide for and improve the Colony’s defenses, to continue to promote the economic, social and political well-being of the population, and to take effective measures against Chinese Communist subversion and strengthen internal security.
- Continue to consult as necessary with the British in order to keep abreast of their policies regarding Hong Kong and to coordinate our contingency evacuation plans with British planning. Inform the British of the U.S. view that Hong Kong’s value as a Free World outpost merits its retention under British administration and that we are prepared, as indicated below, to provide appropriate assistance to this end where feasible.
- Make known publicly U.S. sympathy and support for the efforts of the Hong Kong Government to promote the welfare of the Colony’s people, including refugees from Communist China. Continue to provide assistance at approximately current levels to support British efforts to deal with the refugee problem,1 in such a way as to further U.S. policy objectives.
- If British control of Hong Kong is seriously threatened by major civil disturbances, especially if these are believed to be Communist-instigated, upon British request make available appropriate assistance and supplies for the purpose of suppressing the disturbances.
- In the event of a threatened Chinese Communist attack on Hong Kong, support the British position, as may be justified and feasible in the light of British determination to resist and the circumstances prevailing at the time, by military deployments and high-level statements which, while not committing the United States to the defense of Hong Kong, would demonstrate the extent of our concern and give clear evidence of our capability to retaliate effectively against Communist China. Also consult with the British and other Free World nations regarding the advisability of seeking UN consideration of the threatened Communist aggression.
- In the event of an actual Chinese Communist attack on Hong Kong or major civil disorders with the direct support of the Communist Chinese, a decision as to whether or not the United States should intervene against the aggressor should be made in the light of the conditions existing at the time, including the British response to the attack, the extent of the hostilities (i.e., whether limited to Hong Kong or of a more general nature), and actions which might be proposed by the United Nations. Seek immediately, in conjunction with the United Kingdom and other Free World nations, UN consideration of the Communist attack, if the UN is not already seized of the issue.
- In the event of either actual or threatened Chinese Communist attack on Hong Kong or an attempt to seize the Colony by instigating internal disorder, after consultation with the British and with their agreement if possible, intervene to the extent necessary and practicable to preserve access to the Colony for the purpose of evacuating U.S. citizens and certain other nationals whose safety is judged important to the United States.
- Continue to give high priority to the production in Hong Kong of materials exposing and explaining the Chinese Communist problem and its area and global implications. These materials should be designed for overseas Chinese groups, government officials and other opinion leaders throughout the world.
- Make every effort to exploit the contrast between the regimentation and hardship in Communist China and the conditions of relative well-being in Hong Kong.
- Encourage industrial development in Hong Kong and the expansion of the Colony’s trade with the Free World to help support the growing refugee population. Promote participation by American business interests in commercial ventures in Hong Kong in the production of goods for local consumption or for export to Free World markets which [Page 675] are not likely to invite restrictive actions in world markets, including the United States. Seek to ease the impact of imports from Hong Kong on certain sectors of U.S. industry by encouraging Hong Kong to diversify output and avoid excessive concentration on particular items in exports to the United States. Encourage orderly marketing practices and the avoidance of market disruptions.
[Here follows the discussion portion of the report, headed “General Considerations,” with sections headed “The British Presence on Hong Kong,” “Role of Hong Kong in the Communist-Free World Conflict,” “Security Considerations,” and “Economic,” and a final section headed “Financial Implications.” See the Supplement.]
- Source: Department of State, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 6007 Series. Secret. A June 11 covering note from Lay to the National Security Council and a table of contents are not printed. Lay’s memorandum stated that the President had that day approved the statement of policy contained in NSC 6007, as amended and adopted by the Council on June 8, as NSC 6007/1, that the President directed its implementation by all appropriate executive departments and agencies, that he designated the Operations Coordinating Board as the coordinating agency, and that the statement of policy, as approved, superseded NSC 5717. The full text of NSC 6007/1 is in the Supplement.↩
- U.S. Policy on Defectors, Escapees and Refugees from Communist Areas (NSC 5706/2) also provides (paragraph 14) for continuances of such aid at current levels. [Footnote in the source text. NSC 5706/2, approved March 8, 1957, is ibid., NSC 5706 Series.]↩