711.00111 Lic. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. Inc. E. I/93/6
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control (Green)
Mr. Tswen-ling Tsui, Second Secretary of the Chinese Embassy, called at my office this afternoon. He said that Mr. Li of the Wah Chang Trading Corporation, agents of the Chinese Government, had informed him that du Pont refused to sell any more arms or ammunition for export to China, or even to make delivery under existing contracts, unless the sale of arms for export to China were specifically authorized by the Secretary of State.
I told Mr. Tsui that I thought there must be some misunderstanding on at least two points. I said that I had been informed by an officer of du Pont that the Company would not, for the time being, sell any arms or ammunition of a specifically military character for export to any country, but that I did not understand that this ruling was applicable to existing contracts, nor could I understand that du Pont could have any doubt that the Department would authorize, by the issuance of export licenses, any shipments to China which the Chinese Embassy desired.[Page 541]
I said that in order to clear up any possible misunderstanding I would, if Mr. Tsui desired, call Major Casey of du Pont by telephone. Mr. Tsui requested me to do so.
I told Major Casey that Mr. Tsui was in my office and repeated to him what Mr. Tsui had just told me.
Major Casey confirmed my understanding, (1) that du Pont would not, for the time being, make any sales of arms or ammunition of a specifically military character for export to any country, unless a written request that it do so were received from the Secretary of State; (2) that this ruling was not applicable to existing contracts and that du Pont was proceeding to fulfill its existing contracts with the Wah Chang Trading Corporation, and (3) that du Pont realized fully that it could obtain licenses authorizing the export of arms to China if the Chinese Embassy requested that licenses be issued. Mr. Tsui had heard my end of the conversation and I told him what Major Casey had said to me.
I explained to Mr. Tsui that it was my clear understanding that du Pont’s refusal to sell for export at this time was not motivated by any desire to make difficulties for the Chinese Government. I pointed out that it was general in its application, and I said I believed that it was motivated by a desire not to give any further excuse for unfavorable publicity of the nature of that to which the Company had been recently subjected.
Mr. Tsui spoke of the dire need of China for arms and ammunition at this time and he expressed the hope that the Department might be willing to request du Pont to sell to agents of the Chinese Government. I made no comment and he did not press the point.