The Consul at Rangoon (Brady) to the Secretary of State

No. 178

Sir: I have the honor to report that 1,386 American motor trucks for the Chinese Government have now been delivered at Rangoon.61 The total includes 500 Dodge and 502 General Motors (GMC) trucks shipped direct from the United States to Rangoon on American vessels, and 384 Dodge trucks originally shipped to Hong Kong and brought here from that place. The trucks included in the direct shipments are part of the purchases of the Universal Trading Corporation under the credit authorized by the Export-Import Bank, and are for the use of the Southwest Transportation Company, the concern in charge of the movement of war supplies.

Only 30 of the Dodge trucks delivered by American vessels have been assembled up to this time. Labor difficulties have interfered with the work, but it is thought that these have been overcome by the importation of 150 Chinese mechanics and carpenters from Yunnan. One hundred more Chinese workmen are said to be on the way to Rangoon. The American representative of the Chrysler Export Corporation who is here to supervise operations hopes to be able to assemble 10 to 15 trucks daily. There are 115 Dodge trucks with cabs and stake bodies (all others consist of chassis only), and these are the vehicles that are now being turned out for service. The work of assembling GMC trucks has just been commenced.

[Page 752]

The first 84 Dodge trucks brought here from Hong Kong have been assembled and equipped with bodies, and some have been shipped to Lashio en route to China. Nothing has yet been done with the other 300. As previously reported, these trucks were obtained through Dodwell and Company of Hong Kong, and they also are for the use of the Southwest Transportation Company.

Not to Assemble Trucks at Lashio.

Plans for assembling motor trucks for China at Lashio, the terminus of the Burma Railways in the Northern Shan States, have been abandoned, at least for the present, and the work will be done in Rangoon. After being fitted with locally-made bodies, assembled trucks will be shipped to Lashio by rail, and will be loaded there with war materials and sent into China. The seaplane hangar of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, which has not been in use since seaplane service in Burma was discontinued last year, and part of the foundry of that concern at this port, have been leased for assembly purposes, but additional space is required.

The Chrysler representative in Rangoon has received information that many units of the second 500 Dodge trucks purchased by the Universal Trading Corporation will arrive at Rangoon this month on the American steamship Atlanta City. These additional trucks will form part of the fleet of 1,000 which the Foo Shing Trading Corporation of China has agreed to maintain for the exportation of wood-oil to the United States for the Universal Trading Corporation of New York.

Four American Ships Deliver Trucks.

Direct shipments of American trucks to Rangoon have been made on the American vessels Wichita, President Monroe, Steel Trader, and City of Bayville. The last of the four vessels named, which arrived at this port on April 28th, also brought from the Universal Trading Corporation 2,000 truck tires, 36 tons of heavy hammers, 10 tons of shovels, and five tons of road-grading equipment.

Three hundred five-ton Thornycroft trucks purchased by Chinese interests under a British credit are expected at Rangoon from England within a short time. According to press reports, the purchase comprises 1,300 of these trucks. It is also reported that 250 Bedford trucks for China will come here from England, where they are made by General Motors.

Respectfully yours,

Austin C. Brady
  1. By July 22, 1768 American and 120 British trucks had been delivered at Rangoon.