The Secretary of State to the Chargé in China (Atcheson)

No. 305

The Secretary of State acknowledges the receipt of the Embassy’s strictly confidential despatch No. 1025 of March 24, 1943,14 in regard to the designation by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs of an “intellectual group” to come to Washington. The comments in this despatch on the persons composing this delegation are of great interest to the Department. The group has arrived in the United States.

The Department has reason to suppose that one purpose behind the sending of these leading intellectuals to the United States is to promote contacts between them and leaders in various lines of activity in the United States, in order that the Chinese Government may obtain direct and reliable information concerning all shades of opinion in the United States with reference to questions in which China’s interests are involved. Such questions would include, for example, participation by the United States in a system of international organization after the war. The apparent desire is to bring about personal contacts especially with American leaders who might be thought to be antagonistic to international collaboration, including collaboration [Page 737] with China. Whether the objective is merely one of acquiring accurate information concerning prevalent American views in regard to international affairs, or includes the influencing of such views in a way favorable to cooperation between the United States and China is uncertain at this time.

An offer was conveyed informally by an officer of the Department to Dr. T. V. Soong, before the arrival of the delegation to place at his disposal the good offices of the appropriate officers of the Department, to make the visit of these intellectuals pleasant and profitable. In particular, an offer was made to inform learned societies in the United States of the impending arrival of these persons, so that contacts could be readily established. However, Dr. Soong requested that no publicity be given to this project until the delegation had arrived and a preliminary survey has been made.

In the confidential conversation already referred to Dr. Soong was assured that the coming of these intellectual leaders to the United States could not but make a favorable impression and would be regarded as giving a desirable character of reciprocity to the program of cultural relations with China that had been initiated by this Government.

  1. Not printed, but see telegram No. 416, March 21, 9 a.m., from the Chargé in China, p. 734.