893.796/349: Telegram

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

1849. Embassy’s 1796, September 24.

According to Communications Minister, the British report is not correct and Chinese intend to keep CATC a purely Chinese concern. He admits, however, that for a year or longer there have been conversations with the British for a joint air service from India to China via Sikang or Sinkiang with a view to obtaining all possible [Page 683] means of communication and transport with the outside world. The British Ambassador in a further conversation states that CATC has “been after” the British for some time in an effort to interest them in a Sino-British aviation venture and that the British-Chinese Corporation has now come forward. His reputed understanding is that the projected Sino-British company could take over the interior routes formerly flown by Eurasia with a connection in India, assumably Calcutta; but there was no intention to open new routes through Sikang or Sinkiang as, while trial CNAC flights had shown flying could be successful in fair weather, in adverse weather planes could not reach sufficient altitudes to insure crossing the mountains.
These conversations have been all casual and informal and we are continuing quietly to pursue the matter.