Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1956 - Brass Worried About High Standard of Living

Historical documents from 50 plus years ago bring questions today.

While researching for information, I came across an interesting January 28, 1956  telegram sent from Admiral Felix Budwell Stump, who was then Commander-in-Chief Pacific in Honolulu to Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, Chief of Naval Operations in Washington.

It seems Admiral Stump was concerned about a number of things, one being the living conditions of US Military families in Taiwan.  In his telegram I found these sentences:

" However in addition to the points made in my 272225Z is the ever growing US military population in Taiwan. There are too many Americans there now as emphasized by Ambassador Rankin and Adm Radford and as observed by myself and VAdm Pride.  

The high standard of living of low level American military families is in marked contrast to the low living standards of many high level Chinese. There is growing evidence of Chinese resentment of both the number and living standards of Americans. This reaction is natural and normal and not alarming but it is still unfortunate. I am studying means of limiting the further growth and if possible reducing and centralizing control of the US military population in Taiwan."

Emphasis (bold type) by me.

Thinking about the above, you wonder what drove these concerns, who was complaining?

Anyone have an idea of how many families resided in Taiwan in the mid 1950s.  One would guess not very many, and they were scattered all around the island with family housing in  Hsinchu, Taichung, Tsoying, Kaohsiung, Taipei and other smaller locations.

Please post your thoughts in a Comment below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would like to make a comment about this story . I agree their would not been to many low level American military with families in Taiwan in the 50 . I was in Taipei , Kaohsiung ,and Tsoying in 1968-1969. We know how the American would have lived in the states and Taiwan . Now the high level Chinese would have been in their 40 and 50 , and even some 60 years old , many would have been from main land China and came to Taiwan in the late 1940 and 1950 . What would have been their living stardards in Main land China in those years ? We don't realize how hard it would have been to leave the main land and go to a small island . How much would they have know about the US military living stardards ? What were the living standard for the low level Chinese military ? What about the Taiwanise people that have allways lived on Taiwan ? I was told while in Taiwan many of the Chinese were military or business people while many of the Taiwan people were farmer and fisherman . Their was a big different in living standards if you went from Taipei to a small town like Tsoying . This is for all Chinese , American , and Taiwanise . We all had to learn how to live together with respect.