282 Attlee to Chifley

Message [1] LONDON, 30 May 1949

TOP SECRET AND PERSONAL My colleagues and I are deeply anxious and concerned over the situation which threatens to develop shortly at Hong Kong.

You will already have received through our High Commissioner a statement of the considerations which led us earlier to order the reinforcement of Hong Kong to the strength necessary to deal with local and guerilla attacks and to preserve internal security. We have now been advised that Hong Kong can be defended against any major attack which the Chinese Communists could deliver and have decided that the additional reinforcements which will be needed to meet this threat should be provided in spite of the strain which this will impose on United Kingdom resources. We have instructed our High Commissioner to seek an early interview with you at which he will give you our latest assessment of the military position and will fully explain the factors which have been present to our minds in reaching this conclusion. I hope that we shall be able to count on your support for our policy.

1 Received through UK High Commission.

[AA:A6768/2, EATS 70]