56. Telegram From the Embassy in the Republic of China to the Department of State0

269. For Acting Secretary. Admiral Smoot informed President Chiang today of additional measures for defense of off-shore islands authorized for transmittal by JCS directive.1 I was present along with Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Chief of General Staff.

Admiral Smoot is transmitting detailed account of President’s reactions.2 Therefore, I will confine myself here to a few observations.

Conversation was dominated by President’s deep disappointment at non-receipt of reply to his request of President Eisenhower for concurrence in making retaliatory air attacks against Communist air fields, et cetera. He was not mollified by our position on hot pursuit and spoke of our attitude as being “inhuman” and “unfair” to his soldiers on islands and destructive of public morale. His reaction was the most violent I have seen him exhibit and at one point he called our policy “not that of an allied nation”. He said he could not accept our limitation on his right to retaliate in self-defense. However, he still wished not to take action until concurrence had been given and expressed hope consultation could take place here. He said if he had no response within three days he would be unable to maintain morale of his armed forces and people. He specifically requested that his views be passed to Washington.

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Admiral Smoot and I have discussed situation at length with Secretary Brucker who is to see President tomorrow morning and attempt to pacify him.3 I hope this will have some effect, but I believe that a personal message of reassurance and support from President Eisenhower to Chiang would be most useful and effective at this critical time. I shall hope to have further comment after talking to Secretary Brucker and Admiral Smoot tomorrow morning.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/8–3158. Top Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution.
  2. See Document 53.
  3. Telegram 311306Z from COMTAIWANDEFCOM(US)/MAAG TAIWAN to JCS, August 31. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Records, 381 Formosa, Section 38; see Supplement)
  4. Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker visited Taipei August 30–September 1.