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

Reference underlying memorandum dated January 15, 1944, entitled “Observers’ Mission to North China”,54 transmitted to the Department by Mr. John Davies, Jr., Second Secretary of Embassy detailed to General Stilwell’s Staff.

FE concurs in the view expressed by Mr. Davies in the desirability of dispatching a mission of observers to the Communist area in China for the reasons indicated in Mr. Davies’ memorandum. While it would probably be advisable that the mission be of a military character, it would seem desirable that it include trained political observers. It is believed that this could be arranged by having one or more Foreign Service officers accompany the mission. From a political point of view the dispatch of such a mission at this time is a matter of importance and urgency in view of the dangerous potentialities inherent in the continuing friction between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communists.

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It is suggested that the Department’s views on this important problem be communicated to the War Department in order that agreement may be reached on the question of the composition of the mission and other details preparatory to the presentation of a concrete proposal to the President.54a

It is understood that a copy of Mr. Davies’ memorandum was transmitted to the White House and that the matter is, by direction of the President, under consideration by Admiral Leahy and General Marshall.55

  1. Ante, p. 307.
  2. The Under Secretary of State replied to the Deputy Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs on February 17: “Thank you for your memorandum of February 15 recommending the dispatch of a mission of observers to the Communist area in China. I agree with the suggestion and I presume you are preparing an appropriate communication to the War Department on it as soon as possible.”
  3. Adm. William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Roosevelt, and Gen. George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, U. S. Army.