Hopkins Papers

The Chinese Foreign Minister (Soong) to the President’s Special Assistant (Hopkins)

Dear Harry: On the basis of my conversation with the President this morning,1 I am sending a draft of my telegram to the Generalissimo for the President’s approval, as it is important that there be no misunderstanding in so vital a matter.

I shall be grateful if you could lay it before the President as soon as possible, and give me his reply.

Yours sincerely,

T. V. [Soong]

The Chinese Foreign Minister (Soong) to President Roosevelt 2


Dear Mr. President: Following our conversation today I wish to submit for your approval the following draft report to the Generalissimo on the decisions you have reached:

“I saw the President today, who told me he fully understands and is concerned over the military and economic crisis confronting you and is anxious the air force be immediately strengthened to support you. He has accordingly made the following decisions:

  • “1. Starting July 1, 1948, the first 4700 tons of supplies per month flown into China over the India-China route shall be for General Chennault’s Air Force; after this priority is fully satisfied, the next [Page 297] 2000 tons per month shall be for other purposes including ground forces; thereafter the next 300 tons per month shall also be for the Air Force.
  • “2. President has ordered that starting September 1, the original goal of 10,000 tons per month shall be reached and even stepped up.
  • “3. I asked the President for all the tonnage for the remainder of May and June 1943 on both Air Transport Command and CNAC planes for air force supplies for the 14th Air Force. The President replied that certain small exceptions might be needed for ground forces and asked me to work this problem out with the Deputy Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
  • “I saw the Deputy [Chief] of Staff this afternoon and we came to the following conclusions. Ground forces will have 500 tons each month in May and June, and all the rest goes to airforce. From July 1 onward Chennault will have absolute priority of 4700 tons monthly, and the balance, whatever it may be, goes to Stilwell until he has received in all 10,000 tons.
  • “4. General Wheeler has been ordered to take an engineering detachment from the road project and use it to rush to completion the Assamese airports now being constructed and repaired.
  • “5. The President told me that it is the position of the United States that there is a firm commitment for the Anakim project this fall and that he has advised the British that he expects them to carry out their part of this commitment. Definite and detailed plans for this project will, I trust, be communicated to me for presentation to you before the conclusion of the conferences now going on with the President and the Prime Minister, so that you may make your own observations.”3

Yours sincerely,

Tse Vun Soong
  1. No other record of the Roosevelt-Soong conversation has been found.
  2. The text of this message was read by Marshall to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at their meeting on the morning of May 19, 1943.
  3. Numbered paragraph 5 of the signed original copy of this draft letter, as it appears in the Hopkins Papers, is crossed out and covered over by the following insert:

    “5. The President told me that it is the position of the United States that Anakim will be undertaken this fall in conjunction with the British. Definite plans for this project are now being considered from the viewpoint of the allotment of tonnage and special equipment, preliminary to detailed plans for each phase of the operation, which will be communicated to me for your consideration as they are prepared.”

    The word “fall” in the first sentence is crossed out and replaced by the word “winter” in Roosevelt’s writing. What appears to be Roosevelt’s handwritten “OK” appears in the margin of the insert. This insert appears to be the same one prepared by Marshall and referred to in his memorandum of May 1943, to Hopkins, infra.