Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

The British Chargé d’Affaires33 called to see me at his request.

Mr. Butler referred to the suggestion made by Dr. T. V. Soong for the creation of a British-American air force to operate in China in the interest of the Chungking Government. I stated that this Government had under contemplation the sending of technical aviation advisers, both pilots and mechanics, to China and that it seemed to me that here again, for political as well as practical reasons, it would be wiser for the two Governments to take parallel action rather than joint action. With this Mr. Butler seemed to be in entire accord. I stated that one of our real difficulties at the moment is the fact that the Chinese are not satisfied with the type of plane which the United States could offer them at this moment and desire only the most modern planes which are being turned out in this country. I said this was due to the development by the Japanese of a faster modern plane than that which had previously been employed. I stated that this problem was one which was receiving the immediate consideration of the General Staff of the United States Army as well as the Chief of Naval Operations of the United States Navy.

S[umner] W[elles]
  1. Nevile M. Butler.