811.003 Wallace, Henry A./60b: Telegram

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

703. Following are statements by President and Vice President on May 20, date of Vice President’s departure:

President’s statement:

“I have asked the Vice President of the United States to serve as a messenger for me in China. He is taking with him Mr. John Carter Vincent, chief of the Division of Chinese Affairs, State Department; Mr. Owen Lattimore, deputy director of the Overseas Branch, Office of War Information; and Mr. John Hazard, chief liaison officer, Division for Soviet Supply, Foreign Economic Administration.30

“Eastern Asia will play a very important part in the future history of the world. Forces are being unleashed there which are of the utmost importance to our future peace and prosperity. The Vice President, because of his present position as well as his training in economics and agriculture, is unusually well fitted to bring both to me and to the people of the United States a most valuable first-hand report.

“For the time being nothing more can be said of certain aspects of the Vice President’s trip. Suffice it to say that he will be visiting a dozen places which I have long wanted to see. He left today and will report to me upon his return, which is expected about the middle of July.”

Vice President’s statement:

“The President has asked me to visit Asia. The President is a symbol of hope for hundreds of millions of people throughout the world and I am proud to serve as one of his messengers. There will be no press or other public representatives with me. The object of the trip is to let our Asiatic friends know the spirit of the American people and the beliefs and hopes of their Commander in Chief.

“Asia is just as important to the United States as is Europe. We are fighting a determined enemy in the north, south and middle Pacific. We fight because of Pearl Harbor. We fight to preserve our freedom, and for the democracies of Australia, New Zealand and Canada. We fight so that permanent peace and its blessings may become safe for the half of humanity which has its being on the shores of the world’s greatest ocean.

“The two great lands of China and Russia are glorious in the present. Siberia is the great arsenal without which the Russian victories over Germany could not have occurred. The Chinese will to survive and to resist has its only counterpart in the defense of Stalingrad, Moscow and Leningrad. If I may carry to these working and fighting peoples of Asia something of the confidence and pride which the [Page 229] American people and their President feel in their magnificent effort, I know the journey is well undertaken.

“The truth which China has been writing on the pages of history for forty centuries is simply that hundreds of millions of peaceful people have never permanently been conquered by war aggression. So shall it always be. The will for peace and to survive on the land has been bred into the Chinese soul. China has never sought to conquer the world. China only has sought and successfully accomplished her aim of work and peace and survival.

“A new day opens for this great people. The closed door has gone forever. The day of the aggressor seeking through murder and robbery to break down the Chinese life also is gone forever. The future of China belongs to the world and the world in justice and peace shall belong to China.

“Neither the swamps of Burma nor the Himalaya Mountains nor Japanese warships shall stop America from bringing all possible and prompt aid to this great and enduring people. Our President’s message to China is just that.

“The great Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek has heard from the President directly. My visit is merely one of emphasis so that the hundreds of millions of Chinese people may know that the American will to aid China is permanent and continuous until victory is achieved.

“But the Chinese have also the right to know that the American people conceive it a duty and a privilege to work and plan with the Chinese nation for that permanent peace and prosperity of our Pacific Allies which will also make permanent our own peace and prosperity.

“It is with great anticipation that I approach the Siberian experience. This country embraces one-eighth of all the land of the world. Under the Tsars it miserably supported less people than the State of Pennsylvania—a one-hundredth of its size.

“A scant 25 years have passed. Over 40,000,000 busy people have taken the place of the 7,000,000—mostly convicts—who miserably existed there under Imperial Russia. So the detractors of Russia must pause before the fact of the Soviet Asia of today.

“Soviet Asia in American terms may be called the wild east of Russia. America after the Civil War developed her Wild West, pushing triumphantly to the Pacific—creating what Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Denver mean now. The Soviet Asia cities of Novo-Sibirsk, Tashkent, Krasnoyarsk, Stalinsk, Semipalatinsk and Alma Ata are equally well known in Moscow and Leningrad as American West Coast cities are known in Washington and New York.

“I shall see these cities.31 I shall feel the grandeur that comes when men wisely work with nature. Upon my return I hope to contribute something to American understanding of today’s Asia as well as detailed information for the President.”

  1. Air Corps personnel included: Col. Richard T. Kight, 1st Lt. Wm. G. Golkowske, Capt. John C. Wagner, Capt. Kennith Knowles, M/Sgt. James M. Cooper, T/Sgt. Victor P. Minkoff, Sgt. Roderick W. Rohitaille. (811.003 Wallace, Henry A./7–2944)
  2. For information on this subject, see Henry A. Wallace, Soviet Asia Mission (New York, Reynal & Hitchcock, Inc., 1946).