Skip to main content

Historical documents

231 Officer to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 25 NANKING, 20 January 1949, 4.45 p.m.

Proposed move to Canton. My telegram 23. [1]

Last night the Ambassadors of the 'North Atlantic' group and later
Commonwealth met to discuss the situation.

2. Everyone was bewildered at the timing of the request, at a
moment when the Government decided to negotiate with the
Communists. General view was that the move had been agreed on a
week or more ago and was intended to strengthen the prestige of
the Government.

3. Everyone considered it would be unwise to move from Nanking so
long as it remained the Capital (spokesman said yesterday that
although Ministries and corps will move, Nanking remains the
Capital). They felt all members of these groups should adopt the
same policy.

4. All felt that before a move was agreed upon, assurances should
be secured:-

(A) That the Head of the State and Government actually were moving
to Canton;

(B) That accommodation and transport provided would be adequate
for all whom it was necessary to move;

(C) That proper arrangements should be made for protection of
persons and property left in Nanking;

5. All proposed if they remained at Nanking, to send a
representative to Canton (if they had no one there already) to
maintain touch with Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

1 Dispatched 19 January, it reported that the Government was
moving to Canton and foreign missions were requested to relocate

[AA:A1838/1, 494/1/22/1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top