232 Officer to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 28 NANKING, 22 January 1949, 10.15 a.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your telegram No.8 [1] This will be the attitude of practically all Missions here including, I understand now, the Soviet.

2. But all missions intend also to send representatives to Canton when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs actually moves there, to maintain contact with it. I would propose, therefore, when the time comes to act on lines set out in paragraph (2) my telegram No.22. [2]

3. In my opinion our actions in this regard must be designed to avoid, (a) any open breach with the present Government by failing to keep in touch with them.

(b) over-commitment to Rump Government in Canton, so as to be free to open relations with the new de facto Government should circumstances require.

4. I consider procedure above meets for the time being both objectives.

1 Dispatched 20 January. Canberra advised the entire Embassy staff to remain in Nanking.

2 Dispatched in January. If the Embassy were to move to Canton, Officer proposed leaving the Military Attache and one Embassy official in Nanking to keep in touch with Military Headquarters and take charge of property left behind.

[AA:A1838/283, TS3107/38, i]