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

No. 1375

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a copy of despatch no. 16 of June 27, 1943 from the Embassy’s officer at Sian,26 in which he reports the arrival at Sian of the Northwest Reconstruction Investigation Commission.

It is stated in the despatch that following the Generalissimo’s trip to the Northwest in 1942, General Chiang conceived great hopes for the future development of that area and, as a consequence, despatched the Commission to proceed to Shensi, Kansu, Ninghsia, Chinghai and Sinkiang to investigate conditions on the spot as well as to prepare a long-term reconstruction plan for these provinces. Reliable information indicated that the Commission planned to remain in Sian for about one week and that its “investigation” would merely comprise the gathering of data from various organizations which would be utilized to prepare the comprehensive plan apparently desired by the Generalissimo.

Mr. Drumright states that according to press reports, members of the Commission investigated water conservancy, reclamation, soil, geography, highway, health and educational conditions in the Sian area. It is indicated in the despatch that apparently the members have neither the time nor the capacity to make detailed investigations regarding agricultural, conservancy, communication, industrial, education, health and other matters that need to be examined and correlated if reconstruction of the Northwest is to be attained.

In conclusion Mr. Drumright states that the recent attention focused on the Northwest is considered to be partly strategical, and that increasing attention will probably be given to bringing Sinkiang within the direct political and economic control of the National Government.

Respectfully yours,

For the Chargé d’Affaires a. i.:
J. Bartlett Richards

Commercial Attaché
  1. Everett F. Drumright, Second Secretary of Embassy in China; despatch not printed.