The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China (Gauss)
267. The Department has given some thought to the desirability of extending financial assistance to the Chinese American Institute of Cultural Relations at Chungking and to other pro-American groups in China such as returned students’ organizations. Our government has already extended assistance of this nature to many such groups in Latin America, the highest single grant so far to any one institution amounting to $20,000.
In view of the similarity of the announced objectives of the Chinese American Institute to those approved by the Department in connection with its program of cultural relations with China the question arises whether financial assistance extended to the Institute and/or other similar groups in China would contribute to making them more active agencies in promoting Sino-American friendship and interest in American thought and activities among the important university-trained [Page 709]groups in Chungking. The Department would be glad to have your considered views on this subject as well as recommendations as to the amount which could usefully be given.
The Institute referred to is understood to be occupying at present three rooms in Chungking which have been lent to it by the New Life Movement. It is further understood to have made the start of assembling a small library and to be in a position to show motion pictures sent by this country. Should you feel that financial assistance to this group would be helpful it is suggested that in making your recommendations to the Department regarding this matter you consider whether, if funds are granted, it would be feasible and desirable to suggest that they be expended for more appropriate quarters, for the acquisition of furniture and for support to branch organizations in important cities in China.
The Department plans to send shortly to the Embassy for transmission, at your discretion, to the Institute, subscriptions to certain American periodicals and a number of books in English dealing with United States history, thought, and biography.