Hurley’s task is not an easy one. Nelson came to China on a mission which
would give something to China. Hurley is here to seek something for
ourselves—something to assist in the early winning of the war.
Personally, I feel that Nelson and his proposed mission of experts “bearing
gifts” should not return to China until Hurley has been successful in
getting what we may want in the way of a military understanding.
Memorandum by the Ambassador in China (Gauss)
,] October 3, 1944.
Following is a transcript of my stenographic notes on an oral
communication made to me in strict confidence this morning regarding
statements made by President Chiang Kai-shek at a meeting on the morning
of October 2d of the Standing Committee of the Central Executive
Committee of the Kuomintang.
Without disclosing what proposals Major General Hurley had made to
him, Generalissimo Chiang informed the meeting—speaking heatedly and
banging the table—that he is insisting and will continue to insist:
- That General Stilwell “must go”.
- That all lend-lease matériel must come to him (the
Generalissimo) for distribution. (Note: Control of
allocation of military lend-lease now rests with Stilwell.
- That if there is to be an American commander-in-chief in
China, he must be under the Generalissimo’s command; and
this American commander-in-chief must maintain contact only
with the units of the Chinese forces which are put at his
disposal by the Generalissimo. (Note: This would mean that,
unless the Communist forces were put at his disposal, an
American field commander could not contact them.
In stating his position, the Generalissimo said that China is grateful
for the abolition of extraterritoriality and of the Exclusion Act, etc.,
but now it seems that the Americans are trying to infringe on China’s
sovereignty in another direction. China was better off before the
Pacific War started; then the Chinese were able to hold the Japanese;
now, since the Pacific War began, China is suffering losses and
reverses. “I am not going to compromise because this is against our
sovereign rights”. “This is a new form of imperialism; if we agree, then
we should be nothing but puppets; we might just as well go over to Wang
Chiang told the meeting that Stilwell must go because he disobeyed
Chiang’s orders to advance on Bhamo after Myitkyina was taken. He also
stated that Stilwell had boasted that if he went to Yenan he would be
able to get the Red Army to cooperate immediately. “That is nonsense,”
said Chiang. “I will never permit Stilwell to go until the Communists
submit to my orders; there can be no compromise with the Communists; if
we give in now we shall have to surrender more later.”
Chiang told the meeting: “Do not be afraid if the Americans will not do
as I want them to; we can get along without them—without their help; we
can still stand on our feet in four provinces.”
Having stated his non-compromising position as above, Chiang then asked
for opinions. Only one member of the Standing Committee commented
openly: [Page 266]
He stated that this is no time for personalities; the U. S. wants
to shorten the war; he does not believe there is any sort of new
imperialism or infringement of China’s sovereignty intended; we
must understand the Americans and they must try to understand
us; as regards Stilwell he may be the best man they have got who
understands China and the ways of the people; if a new man comes
it might be worse because the usual American is not so
considerate and he may want things done quicker and he may be
It was stated that after the meeting, the members of the Standing
Committee of the C. E. C. were whispering amongst themselves
(but only one was forthright enough to stand up and answer the
Generalissimo). One member remarked that the Generalissimo acted
as “though he were crazy”.