793.94/8333: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in China (Peck) to the Secretary of State

322. 1. Leighton Stuart informed me this morning that on November 3 he met Chiang Kai Shek in Loyang at latter’s request. Chiang asked what Stuart thought about the attitude of Sung Che Yuan toward Japanese aggressive plans. The salient points in the lengthy reply made by Stuart were that Sung has only mediocre ability but would prefer to resist the Japanese if assured of moral and military support by Nanking. Sung is apprehensive of criticism for having signed the aviation agreement with the Japanese falsely claiming that it had received Nanking’s sanction and is also sensitive because of the subservient attitude toward Japan of which he is accused. Stuart said to Chiang that the development of events in the [Page 373]North depended almost entirely on the mental attitude of Sung and that he should be handled with extreme tact. At this interview Chiang personally wrote letters to Sung and to Han Fu Chu asking that the latter visit Sung in Tientsin in order to inform him of the position of the local government as conveyed to Han by Chiang recently in Hangchow. Stuart said this project is extremely secret but he thought that a visit by Han to Sung on some plausible pretext might be expected in the near future.

2. Sent to the Department, Peiping.