Memorandum by the Adviser on Political Relations (Hornbeck) to the Secretary of State

I endorse and support the opinions expressed and the points made by Mr. Hamilton in his memorandum of May 28.

In addition, I would refer to several memoranda which have been presented during recent weeks pointing out that, as regards Chinese intentions, on the one hand, armies which do not have weapons are quite likely not to intend to fight and, on the other hand, that Chinese armies actually are fighting every day as has been shown by recent reports of the operations along the southern end of the Burma Road, in Chekiang province, et cetera.

With regard to the opinion that the air freight route between Calcutta and Chungking “is no longer feasible”, I would point out that the weather conditions which at this moment may be an obstacle will prevail for only a period of from three to five months and do not prevail from September until after the turn of the year; that defeatist pronouncements on this subject originate for the most part with people who sit at headquarters and make estimates, in contrast with which we have the opinion of Mr. Bond, who, on the basis of practical experience, [Page 60] firmly believes that the thing can be done and, while admitting that it may be proven impossible, takes the position that he would not admit it to be impossible until it had been so proven by actual trial, trial for the making of which he has volunteered his own services and those of the seasoned organization which he directs. We know, too, from recent telegrams from Chungking, that some American military transport planes actually are now arriving in China from India despite the closure “of all possible routes to China” and despite the monsoon rains.

S[tanley] K. H[ornbeck]