811.42793/1286: Airgram

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

A–87. Embassy’s A–19, July 22, 12 noon. Investigations made by the Department disclose that seven agencies of the Chinese Government have formulated plans for the training of technicians in the United States. These plans are in various stages of realization. The Department, the Lend-Lease Administration and other agencies of this Government that have been appealed to for assistance or approval have been very cooperative. T. V. Soong as Director of China Defense Supplies has set up a committee to serve as a sort of clearing house for these various projects. In this Government the Department’s Division of Cultural Relations is acting in this capacity. So far as present training plans have prospects of successful execution, there would seem to be no reason to alter them. In general they are part of the war effort.

The new training program seems to the Department calculated to bring substantial benefit to China and the United States and to their relations with each other provided adequate preparations are made in advance. For example, it seems desirable to provide for this project a supervisory agency in the United States staffed by competent Chinese officials and with perhaps one experienced American personnel specialist as consultant. Such an agency would be essential to keep records and provide contact with Government and private organizations in relation to the fourteen hundred trainees who would be present in the United States at any one time. A rough estimate of the probable cost of the project would be for each of the thirty-five hundred men, transportation to and from the United States $2,000, transportation in the United States $200, initial equipment $250, subsistence in the United States $2,400, and for a supervisory office at $75,000 per annum for six years, $450,000, giving a total of over seventeen million dollars. Providing for unexpected expenditures and possible expansion, a tentative total estimate would be twenty million dollars over a period of six years. It may be the intention of the Chinese Government to appropriate annually the funds necessary to conduct the enterprise, but the Government might prefer to allocate the entire sum in advance. The Department has received a letter from the [Page 750] Secretary of the Treasury30 stating that the Treasury Department would agree to a request from the Chinese Ministry of Finance if such a request were made that the sum of twenty million dollars be earmarked from the five hundred million dollars financial aid allotted to China by the agreement of March 21, 194231 which provides in part that the credit shall be used to “effect further social and economic measures which promote the welfare of the Chinese people”.

While the Department wishes to extend every appropriate assistance to the Chinese Government in carrying out the plan set forth in the Embassy’s A–19, it would prefer that the execution of the plan should rest upon the initiative of the Chinese Government and its agencies in China and the United States. The Chinese might be sensitive, for example, in regard to any seeming dictation in the use of their credit. The Department suggests that the best approach would be for the Embassy to convey informally to an official of the Executive Yuan the information that this Government would welcome official notification concerning this plan the existence of which has been published through the press and would be glad to respond to the notification with an offer of assistance. The two suggestions concerning a supervisory agency and the possible utilization of credits may be conveyed in any way the Embassy regards as most tactful.

  1. Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
  2. Financial aid agreement, signed at Washington, March 21, 1942, Department of State Bulletin, March 28, 1942, p. 263.