033.1193 Nelson, Donald M./8–2244

President Roosevelt to the Chairman of the War Production Board ( Nelson )

Dear Mr. Nelson: I wish that you, acting as my personal representative, would go to China at once. Your mission will be as follows:

To secure from Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his advisers their own estimate of the existing economic situation and what they think can be done about it.
To give the President and other appropriate government officials your own independent judgment as to the immediate economic situation with particular emphasis on the effect of China’s present economy on her ability to continue prosecution of the war.
To make a study and analysis, with recommendations, of China’s, postwar economic conditions and with particular reference to the relationship of the United States Government to China’s postwar economy. Proper consideration should be given to an exploration of what part of Japan’s pre-war industrial exports could appropriately be utilized to foster China’s economy.
To assure the Generalissimo and his advisers that this nation does not wish to dominate China’s internal economy, but rather to take an appropriate economic interest with the full knowledge that China is a sovereign power, and that, in the long run, the Chinese people should dominate their own internal economy.
The mission should be concluded with a report and recommendations as to this government’s economic policy toward China, with an indication as to what parts of their industrial economy would require public or underwritten loans on the one hand, and what parts of the economy could be assisted purely by private American capital, and the restrictions which should be placed on those investments by American citizens.
The American Ambassador to China10 should be kept fully informed by you.
The mission should be accomplished in from four to six months.

Sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Roosevelt
  1. Clarence E. Gauss.