Memorandum by Mr. Alger Hiss, Assistant to the Adviser on Political Relations (Hornbeck)

Mr. Woodard of IN10 has informed me that he was present yesterday at a meeting of the Munitions Assignments Committee (Air) of which Colonel Langmead is chairman, when that Committee considered the renewed request of C.N.A.C. for five transport planes to be used on internal routes in China. General Mao,11 Mr. Youngman and Mr. Mason represented China Defense Supplies at the meeting.

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According to Mr. Woodard, the Committee felt that it must regard itself as bound by the terms of a basic directive in the form of a telegram (Mr. Woodard thinks dated about June 1942) from General Marshall12 to General Stilwell in which it is stated that the Munitions Assignments Board will assign all Lend-Lease material destined to China subject to the disposition of General Stilwell. Because of the terms of this directive, which the Committee felt it has no authority to review, the Committee refused to recommend the immediate allocation to C.N.A.C. of five planes and it further refused to recommend that five of those planes which under a previous allocation are currently being forwarded to C.N.A.C. at the rate of two a month be especially earmarked for use in China. (It will be recalled that C.N.A.C. was required—according to the C.D.S.13 version of the matter—to enter into a contract with General Stilwell whereby all planes received by C.N.A.C. under regular Lend-Lease allocations must be utilized by C.N.A.C. solely on the Assam-China rim under Army direction.)

Mr. Woodard said that according to statements made at the meeting a prior Lend-Lease allocation to C.N.A.C. provided for a total of 25 transport planes to be supplied to C.N.A.C. Of these 25 a total of 19 are now in operation on the Assam-China run. Under the terms of this allocation two additional planes a month are scheduled to be sent forward to India for C.N.A.C. The Committee referred to another standing policy directive which is to replace losses of previously allocated planes. Acting under this directive the Committee agreed to recommend that the present schedule of two additional planes a month for C.N.A.C. be continued throughout 1943 on the theory that it was to be presumed that losses would warrant such a decision.

Mr. Woodard assumed that it was the hope of the Committee that under the last mentioned decision it should be possible for the Chinese Government or for C.N.A.C. to arrange with General Stilwell for the release from the contract of five planes at some time in the course of the current year. Mr. Woodard is not informed as to whether this decision is regarded by C.D.S. as satisfactory.

  1. Granville O. Woodard, of the Division of International Communications.
  2. Gen. P. T. Mow, of the Chinese Purchasing Commission, was Deputy Director of the Chinese Commission on Aeronautical Affairs and Chief Representative in the United States of the Chinese Air Mission.
  3. Gen. George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, United States Army.
  4. China Defense Supplies, Incorporated.