811.20 Defense (M)/11791: Telegram

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

179. Reference final paragraph Department’s 79, January 15 [16], 1 p.m. Embassy has brought informally to the attention of the Minister of Communications4 and the chairman, Resources Commission (Minister of Economics)5 War Production Board’s desire with regard to priorities in local transport and warehousing, and has received favorable reaction but no action yet. In strict confidence it is feared that highly placed interested Chinese may maneuver utilization of trucks for tea transport that might better be employed carrying tungsten. Transportation route for both is in general the same.

Embassy has been unable to obtain any satisfactory estimate of future available plane space for export of materials. Estimates vary from 2 to 5,000 tons monthly. It seems clear, however, that in near future priorities on air transport space will cease to be a practical problem and that internal transport to air fields will continue, as it is now, a very real problem (see Embassy’s 171, January 13 [30], noon) the only apparent solution for this problem is airplane importation of motor gasoline and some equipment so that available trucks can operate to fullest practicable extent.

At present military supplies quite reasonably have priority of import space. Some alleviation of internal transport difficulties may come from efforts by new Communications Minister for better coordination of transport.

  1. Tseng Yang-fu.
  2. Wong Wen-hao.