893.24/1397: Telegram

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

878. For McCabe from Ray. Replying to your 657, July 22.

1. There is serious need for arsenal materials in China second only to acute need for supplies for maintenance of and expansion of American air force. Visits to seven representative arsenals and three talks with General Yu Ta Wei convince me that arsenal materials need for rest of 1942 can be almost completely met by (1st) using inventories now at arsenal and (2d) moving supplies now at Yunnan to the arsenal.

2. Priority on air freight movement into China of CDS supplies as distinct from American Army supplies are set by the Chinese Board per my last telegram. As stated therein first priority has been assigned to rifle powder, copper, zinc, and bullet cups, all for making small arms ammunition. None of these items shipped into China during July as all available eastward space devoted to supplies and personnel for American air force here. This condition is likely to continue during third quarter.

Present stocks of priority arsenal materials in India appear sufficient for several months of freight movement into China when started. You may therefore wish to resume shipment of arsenal materials from America to replenish stockpile in India only when movements into China have commenced which is unlikely before October.

3. Forecast of air transport space available to move CDS supplies into China is impossible because of unpredictability of space to be preempted by American air force supplies.

(Greater strategic importance of latter causes constant pressure to expand same despite resulting postponement of arsenal material shipments!)

4. Will report actual July air freight movements by Army and CNAC32 next week.

5. Currie has seen this message. [Ray.]

  1. China National Aviation Corporation.