811.42793/535: Telegram

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

130. Your telegram No. 113, February 12, 11 p.m. The Department appreciates having your detailed and constructive comment regarding its program of assistance to China. It fully shares your view that under present circumstances the purpose of strengthening China’s morale, which need not be mentioned in your conversations, is best achieved by the indirect method of assisting China in the most practical fashion during the present emergency.

With regard to item 1 of the program you are authorized to invite the Chinese Government to inform you at once of any immediate needs which it has for specialists or experts in particular fields. To the extent that the Department is able to finance and send such specialists to China, it would naturally utilize the experience of persons, both Chinese and American, who have long been doing work in China in the various segments of their field of specialization. Under present conditions, the Department feels that in order to be of maximum utility to the Chinese Government, as well as in the interest of transportation economy, the persons sent should remain for at least one year.

The Department has already exchanged views on the needs of China in medical science and public health, in so far as these are ascertainable here, with medical groups in this country active in China. It is likewise discussing the question of agricultural assistance with the Department of Agriculture, and would welcome any further views which you may have regarding the urgent needs of China in the above fields.

You are also authorized to discuss with the Chinese Government the general scope of activities contemplated in the Department’s initial telegram to you on this subject, bearing in mind the foregoing observations.

The Department desires you to report as soon as feasible your fuller recommendations on the radio and motion picture items of the program. Any information as to radio and motion picture facilities available in Chunking, and elsewhere in China where they might be useful, would be especially helpful. How effective a radio audience do you believe it would be feasible to reach by radio broadcasts of the nature contemplated? The Department proposes to send 16 millimeter motion picture projectors to the Embassy as soon as practicable. It hopes however to send sound equipment, which is also utilizable for silent films, since such equipment will be later useful for the [Page 704]showing of sound pictures. Generators will likewise be shipped if possible.

The Department would be glad also to have your suggestions on the following:

Are adequate books in Chinese on American history, democratic thought and biography available in Chungking and the outlying university centers? What would be your estimate of the effectiveness in this general direction of a Chinese edition of the Reader’s Digest, should means be found to have one issued?

With regard to your comments on item 5 of the program, the Department understands that the Office of the Coordinator of Information is at present conferring with the Library of Congress concerning the possibility of supplying microfilms of current learned journals, especially scientific ones.

Careful study will be given to your recommendation regarding grants in aid to faculties and universities in Free China. Without raising any expectations in this respect that funds will be available for this purpose, can you estimate approximately the number of persons who should be thus aided, as well as the amount of money which would effectively care for this need?

Welles