The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 15—8:46 a.m.]
403. Your 267, April 9, 4 p.m. The Chinese American Institute of Cultural Relations was formed several years ago when other similar Sino-foreign societies were being organized. It has existed under the presidency and domination [of?] Dr. H. H. Kung, Minister of Finance, its activities being limited principally to social functions on anniversaries and special occasions which have been indicated as representing the personal hospitality of Kung. There is reason to believe that all these similar Sino-foreign [groups?] receive some limited support from the government or the party. They must all be registered with the Ministry of Social Welfare which in the case of this institute and perhaps some of the others, sought to stipulate that the constitution should carry a political requirement that no one shall be a member who opposes the principles of the San Min Chu I13 or the policy of national resistance reconstruction. This fact is not generally known.[Page 710]
Efforts have recently been begun to reorganize the institute; a new constitution is being drafted which will quietly omit the political requirement above mentioned; and plans have been made to expand the activities of the institute, to provide reading rooms and library, sponsor lectures, solicit scholarships for Chinese in the United States, et cetera. The reorganization would not eliminate Dr. Kung in any way as the dominant influence but would seek to make the institute less a personal affair and more generally effective. The institute at present has not [no] reading rooms or library. If the plans are successfully carried out, I believe the organization may properly be the object of recognition in our cultural relations program, probably by way of a contribution toward rental of reading rooms, purchase of furniture and furnishings, and books and periodicals from the United States when it becomes practicable actually to get them in to aid Chungking. In this connection it should be remembered that rentals and costs of furniture, et cetera, at Chungking are extortionately high and also that everything provided may at any time be destroyed during bombing raids.
It might be helpful in encouraging the recognition of the institute on a more satisfactory basis if we were to know that a sum, say 5000 United States dollars, might be available as a contribution toward renting and furnishing suitable reading rooms.
I am not prepared at this time to recommend that any support be given to proposals to entrust the institute with the awarding of scholarships or fellowships in the United States.
- The “Three Principles of the People” of Sun Yat-sen.↩