893.24/1480: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

7. In connection with Department’s 1255, December 22, 9 p.m.2 and with the following reply thereto, Department might find helpful reference to Embassy’s 1497, December 1 [14], 11 a.m., 1184, October 14, 3 p.m.2a and despatch No. 681 of October 15.3

Chinese and Soviet Governments have reached agreement with regard to transport of Lend-Lease materials across Sinkiang but agreement has not yet been signed. Russians will transport 2,000 tons monthly to Hami or Hsing Hsing Hsia and in addition will supply 300 tons monthly of gasoline (not 600 tons as reported to Currie). Although in principle Chinese undertake to supply 2,000 tons of strategic material for return trip of trucks to Russia, they will be unable to do so and discussions are now taking place with regard to basis on which China will pay for unused capacity of trucks. Chinese admit that they will not be able to deliver more than 1,000 tons monthly to Sinkiang for Russians. Chinese expect that agreement will be signed with Russians in near future.

Chinese are informed of discussions between British and Soviet Governments regarding transport problem but apparently do not have exact information. They view as unrealistic for the present at least any discussions for transportation of more than 2,000 tons of Lend-Lease materials a month across Iran and Turkestan to Alma Ata for trucking across Sinkiang and the Embassy concurs in this view. They realize, however, that British discussions with Russians involve also delivery of materials to Russia. They state that whereas Russians are not requesting advance notice as to character of Lend-Lease materials for China, British are requesting such notification.

The apparent fact that it is the British that are undertaking to obtain for [from] us not only the trucks for transport across Iran but also the trucks for Sinkiang transportation (although the Russians will actually manage the transportation) is somewhat confusing. [Page 591] The Embassy understands that the trucks desired by China are for transportation from Sinkiang to interior China.

  1. Ibid, p. 619.
  2. Ibid, pp. 618 and 609, respectively.
  3. Not printed.