811.42793/527a: Telegram

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

55. During the past year the Department has given increasing attention to the desirability of supplementing the aid which this Government has been extending to China, along the lines of what may be conveniently termed cultural assistance, designed, during the emergency, primarily to bolster Chinese morale and secondarily to assist China in many different ways in which American scientific technical, social, educational, industrial and other experience may be of use to China in raising its standard of living, improving the condition of its rural population, assisting in the development of educational, social and administrative programs and thus contributing to China’s war effort. A modest initial allocation of $150,000 from emergency funds has just been made for this purpose available until the end of the present fiscal year. Since these funds have been provided on an elastic basis the emphasis can be changed as circumstances may require. In view of the new developments during December, the Department intends to emphasize especially those aspects of its program which will be of the most immediate benefit to China, in strengthening civilian morale and in pursuit of the aims outlined above. The following items have received the Department’s approval.

Item 1. Exchange of technical and cultural leaders, $80,000. It is intended to send to China as soon as possible a number of American scholars and others who will also be primarily specialists in various fields of study and activity of essential importance to China, in order to: familiarize themselves with problems in China relating to their field of study; discuss these problems with officials and scholars there; give advice, if desired, regarding short and long term assistance in these fields; submit an exhaustive report of their findings upon their return, together with recommendations; and be available to the Department for consultation for a reasonable period [Page 698]thereafter. Among the specialties which persons selected for these missions should possess would be: (1) Medical science, including hospital administration, drugs, emergency assistance to the wounded, control of epidemics, etcetera. (2) Public Health. To give advice and assistance as requested regarding general problems of health in China, both urban and rural, especially in matters of preventive medicine, epidemic control, maternity and child welfare, nutrition and social hygiene. (3) Vocational instruction. The persons selected should be competent to give advice regarding this important phase of education; confer on this subject with interested officials and other Chinese; determine how the visual and other aids for vocational instruction prepared by this Government, as well as the experience of our public schools might best be adapted to the needs of the Chinese. (4) Agriculture. Persons sent should visit agricultural schools in free China, discuss with faculty members and Government officials the best means for the United States to assist China to raise the standard of its rural population, both in agriculture and in the field of health, as well as to ascertain how the extensive material in motion picture and pamphlet form prepared by this Government could best be utilized for the assistance of the Chinese farmer. (5) A librarian should be sent to confer with directors of university and other libraries in China to give such advice as may be desired and to ascertain what books, and in what order of priority, are must urgently needed, as well as to report to the Department regarding the relative merits of several different methods of making such books available to the Chinese, including microfilm, offset printing, etcetera. (6) Physics. To advise in connection with the general university discipline, as well as regarding the war time needs of China, and to survey the urgent requirements of the Chinese refugee universities for scientific apparatus. (7) Chemistry. In general the same as Physics. (8) Engineering. To include hydraulic, industrial and communications engineers as well as an engineer competent to give advice concerning administrative and curricular problems of undergraduate engineering instruction. The engineers should be prepared to advise government and university officials as requested and to ascertain the engineering needs of China as well as to determine how best those needs might be served by the United States. (9) A mining engineer should likewise survey the mining field, act as consultant if desired by the Chinese Government, confer with university engineering faculties and report China’s most urgent mining needs. (10) Paper industry. In view of the acute shortage of paper in free China, a specialist in the paper industry might be of assistance to the Chinese Government in giving advice as to the best way of expanding China’s [Page 699]production of paper. (11) Regional Planning. To explore with Chinese officials and others the feasibility of setting up a plan for the eventual development of certain areas in China on an integrated regional basis, similar in general to that employed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. (12) In addition, persons competent to make to the Chinese Government suggestions in the fields of public administration, fiscal policy, social security and rural credit might also be sent if requested. The sending of not to exceed ten persons in such fields as those indicated above is contemplated during the present fiscal year. Should transportation facilities improve, it is also desired to invite a few outstanding Chinese to lecture widely in this country for the purpose of acquainting Americans with Chinese customs, institutions and objectives.

Item 2. Aid to certain Chinese students pursuing technical, administrative and educational studies in the United States, $20,000.

Item 3. The development of a series of radio programs in Mandarin and the principal dialects designed to acquaint the Chinese with the broad aspects of our culture, institutions, and defense effort, $5,000. These programs would be of an educational nature and, being worked out in close cooperation with the Coordinator of Information, would of course in no wise compete with the latter’s essentially news function. Two methods of utilization of these programs are envisaged: (1) Direct short-wave broadcasting to Chungking for possible retransmission by medium and long wave to provincial towns and cities, and (2) the use of transcriptions of such broadcasts to be shipped to China for local rebroadcast by medium and long wave.

Item 4. Motion pictures, $15,000. The sending to China of two light trucks together with projection equipment for each, in order to display in provincial and rural areas in China a series of motion pictures designed: (1) to acquaint Chinese of all classes with various aspects of American life, institutions and war effort and (2) to display, wherever they can be useful, many government films dealing with modern agricultural methods, animal husbandry, hygiene, sanitation, child welfare, maternity, soil and flood control, forestation, et cetera.

Item 5. The donation to refugee universities of urgently needed textbooks, microscopes and other scientific equipment, $20,000.

The Department has been giving careful consideration for some time to the various items of this program, and now that funds for its initiation have become available, desires to have your frank and considered views regarding its probable effectiveness, your recommendations regarding the individual items thereof, as well as your opinion as to where major emphasis should be placed. Your suggestions as well as those of others whom you may desire to consult in this connection, [Page 700]regarding persons whom you would especially recommend to be sent to China in the capacities suggested in item 1 above, would be welcomed.

In your discretion and unless you have specific criticism or suggestions to offer regarding any of the items above set forth, you may discuss this program with officials of the Chinese Government and, after pointing out that this Government views cultural relations as essentially a two-way process and would welcome reciprocal cultural activities in this country by the Chinese Government, inquire: (1) whether it would desire to see such a program inaugurated, and (2) would be prepared to give full facilities to persons sent to China for its execution. It would be particularly helpful to learn which type of the specialists whom it is intended to send to China would in your opinion and in that of the Chinese Government be the ones most urgently needed.