The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 1.]
Sir: Referring to the Embassy’s despatch No. 2040 of January 18, 1944, transmitting a copy of portions of a letter dated December 26, 1943,29 from the Secretary on detail at Sian in regard to his recent two months’ trip into Honan, Anhwei and Hupeh Provinces, I have the honor to enclose a copy of further excerpts from that letter28 regarding conditions among Americans and other foreigners in those provinces.
Summary. American residents of the provinces visited report that American prestige is paramount among the Chinese and they have little complaint to offer regarding the treatment accorded them by the local authorities. The chief problem confronting American missionaries in these provinces is the rising cost of living and they are necessarily living on a much reduced scale. In only one or two cases have American missionaries paid the increased taxes demanded of them by the Chinese authorities, in most cases the taxes being waived or put aside on appeal to the District Magistrate or the Special Delegate.
About 125 Catholic Italian and German missionaries, most of them now in concentration camps under very unsatisfactory conditions at Neisiang and Sichwan in southwest Honan, are being supported chiefly by funds remitted from the United States. The Chinese authorities have made free to help themselves to Catholic property [Page 312] in Honan in spite of energetic efforts made by two American Catholics to preserve it. End of Summary.