Memorandum by the Second Secretary of Embassy in China (Service)1

No. 92

Subject: Chinese Intellectuals’ “Appeal for Revolutionary Democratic Rights”.

To: Assistant Chief of Staff, G–2.1a

The attached statement,2 drafted by a group of well known Chinese intellectuals, came into my possession from one of the group. I understand that it was prepared with [a] view to Vice President Wallace’s visit and that means was found of having a copy given to him through one of the members of his party.3

The drafters include a number of the most famous Chinese authors, playwrights and liberal intellectuals. Some of these are regarded as “left-wing” but none are known as Communists. Several of them, including the first signer, are associated with the National Salvation Association.

The document basically is an appeal for freedom of speech, thought, study and literary expression. In the course of its arguments it develops a forceful attack on the Kuomintang’s present denial of these freedoms, on its fear of popular expression and consequent denial of the fundamental principle of democracy, on its distortion of history, on its conservative turning back to China’s original culture with the attendant overtones of implied racial superiority, and on its failure to carry out its promises of democracy or to attempt to live up to the principles of Sun Yat-sen.

The appeal has not [been] and undoubtedly cannot be published in China.

John S. Service
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in China in his despatch No. 2791, July 21; received August 14.
  2. Intelligence section at headquarters, U. S. Army Forces, China, Burma, and India.
  3. Not printed.
  4. The Ambassador, in despatch No. 2791, stated that a copy was handed to Vice President Wallace at Chungking.