The Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Soong) to the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

Dear Mr. Welles: In connection with our talk this afternoon, I am enclosing copy of a message to Mr. Lauchlin Currie,15 dated Chungking, April 19th, which I think will interest you.

With kind regards [etc.]

Tse Vun Soong

Telegram From Madame Chiang Kai-shek to Dr. Lauchlin Currie, Dated Chungking, April 19th

“Few days ago in reply to Generalissimo’s enquiry War Department through Bissell16 stated that no Lend-Lease planes designated for China can or will be given to third party regardless of pressure without consent of Generalissimo. But today Bissell presented War Department memorandum purporting that aside from maintaining personnel and equipment A. V. G.17 full strength consisting 80 planes it intends divert remaining pursuit planes originally meant for China through Lend-Lease to the U. S. Tenth Air Force for protection invasion North East India and avoid risk of destruction British Eastern Navy. Believe you should know Generalissimo shocked at suggestion since in his message to the President he urged immediate despatch 300 additional planes support Chinese Expeditionary Force. Generalissimo most strongly opposes War Department move and expressed himself to Bissell as follows: First, Chinese nation has waited [Page 579]patiently anxiously for arrival planes for over year while Chinese Army already disgruntled because since formation A. V. G. all planes sent protect Rangoon and Burma instead of the Chinese front. If any Lend-Lease planes diverted to Tenth Group people and Army will feel themselves robbed widow’s mite and will certainly resent not being treated as worthy ally who has unstintedly given all to common cause. Second, if planes necessary to defend India, etc., why not take from lot assigned to Russia or Britain who are receiving thousands from America instead of from paltry few designated for China. Third, Chinese Army and people are asking with all aid from America what has Britain contributed to Allied cause. Please inform President Generalissimo’s attitude. Today British Army in Burma again retreated even from Magwe and all oil fields lost.”

  1. Administrative Assistant to President Roosevelt.
  2. Brig. Gen. Clayton L. Bissell, Senior United States air officer on staff of Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, Commanding General, U. S. Army Forces in China, Burma, and India.
  3. American Volunteer Group.