Hopkins Papers

The Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Soong ) to the President’s Special Assistant ( Hopkins )1


Memorandum for Mr. Hopkins

In May, owing to the fall of Burma, an emergency program of 3500 tons per month of munitions for China was agreed with the Munitions Assignments Board. This was based on an air transport program of 5000 tons between India and China, divided into 3500 tons munitions and 1500 tons airplane supplies.
During June, this munitions program was followed. However, the Munitions Assignments Committee now states that as air transport has proved a failure, there will not be a single ton assigned for July.
In a telegram on June 16th the Generalissimo2 stated that he and General Stilwell had agreed that as soon as the monsoon ends air transport could reach 5000 tons per month. July assignments of munitions at best will not reach India till September, and will not get to the eastern airports of India till October, by which time, a full air schedule will have been reached.
The Chinese Fifth Army now in India will be re-equipped from these munitions, and a portion of these munitions need not be flown to China.
In the discussions with the Prime Minister on Monday,3 it will be seen that the opening of a land route to China in the latter part of the year is a distinct possibility, and a modest stock-pile of essential munitions in India is therefore entirely justified.
Only consternation could result in China if I am obliged to report that the assignment of 3500 tons of munitions monthly, which is half a ship load, will have to be cancelled.
I would urge that the original schedule of about 3500 tons monthly for the next three months, namely, July, August and September, be maintained without any further discussions from time to time.4
  1. Source text not signed.
  2. Chiang Kai-shek.
  3. Regarding the Roosevelt–Hopkins–Churchill-Soong meeting of June 22, 1942, see the editorial note, ante, p. 438.
  4. Concerning the question of munitions shipments to China, see also Soong’s letter to Hopkins, June 23, 1942, and Burns’ memorandum to Hopkins, June 25, 1942, Foreign Relations, 1942, China, pp. 85 and 88, respectively. The problems arising during the summer of 1942 over the allocation of military forces and supplies to the China Theater are considered in detail in Romanus and Sunderland, chapter V.