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

No. 1175

Sir: I have the honor to enclose two memoranda by Mr. J. Bartlett Richards, Commercial Attaché, as well as a summary of the conclusions reached at a recent forum of college professors and economists, all on the subject of post-war reconstruction.20

This is a subject that has been receiving a good deal of attention in China, officially as well as academically. So far, however, official interest has been confined within the limits of individual ministries and there has been no attempt to formulate a comprehensive and unified project for reconstruction that would embody the ideas of those in charge of agriculture, industry, transportation, social affairs, education, finance etc. it is perhaps natural that individual ministries should desire to formulate their own ideas and reach internal agreement on them before trying to fit them into a comprehensive project. In the case of the Reconstruction Conference recently concluded, to which reference is made in the enclosed memorandum dated May 7, it does not appear that the officials and economists of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the closely-allied National Resources Commission, who comprised the delegates to the conference, were able to draw up anything very clear or definite in the way of a plan of reconstruction.

The National General Mobilization Council is planning to call a comprehensive conference for the first week in June on the more urgent question of increasing wartime production. It is believed [Page 854] that some attention may also be given to post-war reconstruction projects. The Ministries of Economic Affairs and Agriculture will share in the direction of the Production Conference, as it will be called, and there will be representatives of the Ministries of War, Finance, Communications, Social Affairs, Food, Education, the National Health Administration, the Joint Board of the Four Government Banks, the National Conservancy Commission, the Commission for the Control of Liquid Fuel, the Chungking Municipal Government, the various provincial governments, and industrial and mining organizations as well as experts invited by the government.

The Supreme National Defense Council is planning to hold a conference toward the end of May, to discuss a number of major political and administrative questions. It is believed that post-war reconstruction will receive some attention, as one of the principal units of the Council, the Central Planning Board, is preparing a 5-year post-war national defense and economic reconstruction plan and a 10-year plan for the development of the Northwest.

Respectfully yours,

John Carter Vincent
  1. None printed.