893.48/1198: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

676. 1. Following letter dated today received from Doctor J. Heng Liu, [director of] Health and Medical Services:

“On behalf of the people of China and of the Chinese National Red Cross Society, I have the honor to draw your attention to the need which now exists in this country for medical supplies of all kinds, for use among the refugees and the wounded and sick soldiers, and to request that you be so kind as to make a formal appeal to your Government and to the charitable organizations in your country, such as your National Red Cross Society, to send a donation of such supplies to China.

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Further, in consequence of the war, it has been found that there are not sufficient skilled surgeons for the treatment of the wounded, and the despatch of fully-equipped medical missions to China, composed of such surgeons, would be very highly appreciated.

Practically all the available reserve stock of medical supplies on the market has been exhausted, and the need is now a pressing one. As you know, epidemics of cholera, dysentery and typhoid have broken out among the refugees, white plague is spreading in Fukien, threatening the adjoining provinces. Wounded and sick civilians and soldiers are pouring into our hopsitals, and there the serious shortage of medical supplies is felt.

I can personally assure Your Excellency that any help, in money, in the despatch of medical missions, or in supplies which the Government of [or] the charitable institutions of your country may care to grant to our Red Cross work in the name of humanity will be most gratefully welcome, and in view of the urgency of the matter I take the liberty of suggesting that you might wish to telegraph this appeal to your Government. In particular, in the way of supplies, China is in great need of anesthetics, antiseptics, anodynes, suturing materials, and surgical instruments, including standard army sets.

In view of the blockade now existing on China’s coast, it is recommended that any donations should be addressed to: The Bureau of the Chinese National Red Cross Society, Hong Kong, from whence they will be distributed to the proper quarters. [”]

Sent Department only.