Memorandum by the Deputy Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Ballantine) to the Secretary of State

Mr. Secretary: Reference the attached telegrams from Vice President Wallace to the President.60 The Vice President states that the Generalissimo has urgently requested that a personal representative be appointed to act as a liaison officer between the Generalissimo and the President, such an officer to serve in somewhat the same capacity [Page 238] as General Carton de Wiart, the personal representative of Mr. Churchill. The Vice President is of the opinion that the situation both from the political and military point of view calls for the appointment of an officer of the character indicated.

In view of the direct request made by the Generalissimo through the Vice President and in view of the critical military, economic and political situation which now exists in China it is believed that the appointment by the President of a military officer of high rank to act in such a capacity would have a good psychological effect on the Generalissimo and other Chinese leaders and would be taken by the Chinese as an indication of our confidence in the stability of the Chinese Government and of our intention to support China by all practicable means. Such an officer might be able to establish a very close and cordial relationship with the Generalissimo and be able tactfully to guide and advise him on the military and political problems which now confront China.

The Vice President’s telegram raises the question of the political authority which should be granted to the President’s personal representative. On this point we feel that, while the President’s special representative should in addition to the military authority vested in him be given broad authority in connection with political problems which are closely related to the war effort, he should work in close harmony with the Ambassador in order that there may be complete coordination of our policy with respect to China and the Far East.

While there would appear to be some advantage in awaiting the Vice President’s return for a more thorough and careful consideration of this matter, if the President and the military authorities think it desirable to act immediately this may be the best course.

The Vice President’s concern about the serious nature of the political and military situation in China is borne out by Ambassador Gauss’ reports and by our other sources of information.61

J[oseph] W. B[allantine]
  1. Telegrams Nos. 471 and 472, June 28, 11 a.m. and noon, respectively, from the Officer in Chargé at New Delhi, supra.
  2. In a memorandum of June 30 to the Secretary of State, the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Grew) concurred in the contents of Mr. Ballantine’s memorandum (893.00/6–3044).