The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:33 p.m.]
11. Ministry of Finance official has told us that Chinese Ambassador,2 Washington, has transmitted invitation from American to Chinese Government to send an expert to Washington to discuss Chinese fiscal problems. Minister for Foreign Affairs3 has commented to us that he hopes to take back to Washington with him (he expects to depart in about a month) a number of Chinese experts to discuss and plan for postwar reconstruction in China with American aid. Other Chinese officials, competent to discuss the matter, have from time to time officially indicated a desire to have an American, with broad experience in matters of economic development, visit China in the near future to discuss with competent Chinese officials various reconstruction problems related to agriculture, industry, commerce and finances. They feel that a competent American could, through conversations and investigations here, obtain a coordinated picture of China’s postwar needs which would be useful in Washington.
The Chinese are anticipating financial aid from us for postwar development. The various interested ministries and other organizations of the Government have plans for reconstruction but it appears that little has been done to coordinate these plans and it is not improbable that some of them will have little practical direct bearing on what will be China’s pressing postwar needs. For instance, it would appear that measures to maintain China’s credit by support of currency and restoration of foreign trade on a sound basis (and to improve the livelihood of China’s predominantly agricultural population) by agrarian reform and promotion of village industries should receive priority consideration by the Chinese rather than for large scale industrial and communications enterprises and special projects promoted by Government and private interests. If the National Government’s credit can [Page 842] be maintained and the purchasing power of the mass of the population can be improved, well coordinated industrial and communications projects should follow without much artificial stimulation. The Embassy feels that an American expert, not adviser, on economic organization might prove useful in prompting the synthesis of plans which is required for the purpose of intelligently and authoritatively advising the American Government on the situation.