The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State
[Received 9:58 p.m.]
160. Student volunteers who are said officially to number over 20,000 are not expected to participate in actual fighting, many of them being middle school students in their teens including both boys, girls. As reported in Embassy’s despatch No. 2018, January 13,32 informed Chinese and foreign observers believe movement (Department’s 105, January 20) has grown partly from the students’ desire to escape unpleasant and difficult conditions of the present day student life and partly from hope of being sent to India for training in technical and supply fields under American direction with reported prospect of assignment for further study abroad. The Government is believed to have encouraged and publicized movement as means of offsetting possible foreign criticism of presence of Chinese students of military age in foreign schools during wartime and domestic criticism of lack of patriotism of students.
- Not printed.↩