The present volume of Foreign Relations of the United States is the first in a special series of Foreign Relations volumes covering the relations of the United States with China for the years 1942 to 1949, inclusive. This series is part of the publication program adopted by the Department of State in response to expressions of interest by several Senators and the Senate Committee on Appropriations in its report for the fiscal year 1954. The program also includes publication of records of the top-level conferences of World War II and the accelerated publication of the regular annual volumes of Foreign Relations.

The principles of compilation and editing for this China series are the same as those for the regular annual volumes as set forth in the Department order printed in the preface to Foreign Relations, 1939, Volume I. The background documentation on the internal political and military situation in China is somewhat fuller than usual, in view of the special interest of the United States in the struggle which resulted in the establishment of a Communist regime controlling the mainland of China and in view of the bearing of the Chinese internal conflict on the policies followed by the United States Government with respect to China.

The Foreign Relations volumes are primarily concerned with documentation of diplomatic activities within the responsibility of the Department of State. Some documents from other agencies have been printed where they have been deemed necessary to supplement the Department’s records and thus give a better understanding of the problems treated.

Military records dealing with China during 1942 have been discussed in narrative histories published by the Departments of the Army and Air Force. Most important for this period are United States Army in World War II: The China–Burma–India Theater: Stilwell’s Mission to China, by Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunderland, published in 1953, and The Army Air Forces in World War II, edited by W. F. Craven and J. L. Cate, Volumes I and IV, published in 1948 and 1950, respectively. These histories provide relevant background information for documents referring to military activities.

The preparation of the present Foreign Relations series on China has been under the general supervision of the Chief of the Historical Division, G. Bernard Noble. The volumes were compiled in the Foreign Relations Branch of the Historical Division under the [Page IV] direction of the Chief of the Branch (Editor of Foreign Relations), E. R. Perkins, and the Assistant Chief of the Branch, Gustave A. Nuermberger, by a research staff consisting of John G. Reid, Francis C. Prescott, Velma H. Cassidy, Herbert A. Fine, and Ralph R. Goodwin. The 1942 China volume was compiled by Mr. Reid, Mr. Prescott, and Mr. Goodwin.

The Division of Publishing Services is responsible with respect to the Foreign Relations volumes for the proofreading and editing of copy, the preparation of indexes, and the distribution of printed copies. Under the general direction of the Chief of the Division, Robert L. Thompson, the editorial functions mentioned above are performed by the Foreign Relations Editing Branch in charge of Elizabeth A. Vary.

E. R. Perkins

Editor of Foreign Relations