227 Department of External Affairs to Officer

Cablegram 191 CANBERRA, 30 November 1948, 11.40 a.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your 322. [1] The Acting Minister [2] has considered position and is inclined to the view that you should not leave Nanking in event of Government evacuating. Such a step raises questions of future policy such as attitude to any new regime in circumstances, in which present government leaders may never return to position of authority. Moreover question arises whether status and position of those remaining in Nanking may not be seriously affected to the point of personal danger if head of mission followed Government.

In circumstances present view is that you should remain on grounds that if you cannot take whole mission you do not consider you can follow government to wherever it may evacuate.

1 Dispatched 27 November it suggested that if Chiang Kai-shek were to leave Nanking, heads of missions would follow while other members of the diplomatic community remained in Nanking.

2 J.B. Chifley.

[AA:A838/283, TS3107/38, i]