Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

Mr. Donald Nelson called upon me this morning at his request. He looked well and was very cordial. He pledged cooperation and support in every possible way.

He said that General Hurley had been a good choice43 and that he was making a fine impression. He said the Generalissimo had the greatest confidence in him.

Mr. Nelson reviewed with me the general situation in China, which he described as precarious. In his opinion the next three or four weeks would tell the story as to whether China would survive. If Chungking should fall, the Government of China would have to go literally into the wilds of Tibet and no relief could be given until we landed on the mainland later.

Mr. Nelson said he had had a very frank talk with the Generalissimo relative to China starting to fight and had pointed out that China could not depend upon the United States for postwar cooperation unless it was proved to the world that she was really trying to fight. He said the Generalissimo appeared to appreciate his frank language.

Mr. Nelson said he was writing a report and would give us a copy early next week. I told Mr. Nelson that I hoped he would see Mr. Grew and Mr. Ballantine soon.

E[dward] S[tettinius]
  1. As Ambassador in China to succeed Clarence B. Gauss, resigned.