The Vice Consul at Kweilin (Service) to the Ambassador in China (Gauss)15

No. 99

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Consulate’s secret despatch no. 83, October 27, 1943,16 which enclosed a memorandum17 prepared by Consul Arthur R. Ringwalt describing his investigation of reported sabotage of airfield construction in the Hengyang area. This investigation was undertaken by Mr. Ringwalt in compliance with instructions contained in the Embassy’s telegram no. 27, October 15, 1943, 3 p.m. There is enclosed a copy of a letter dated December 9, 1943,17 from the director of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the National Military Council at Chungking,18 to Major General T. G. Hearn, Chief of Staff, USAFCBI,19 reporting the results of an investigation into this situation. [Here follows report of arrest of certain Chinese individuals for irregularities.]

Attention should be directed to the final paragraph of the enclosure, which warns the United States Army against awarding contracts to firms which quote excessively high prices, on the grounds that competition is likely to be keen and irregularities numerous if high prices are paid for construction work. While the advice of the director of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the National Military Council is patently sound, it should be pointed out that existing conditions which oblige the United States Army in China to do business with exploitative and corrupt firms and individuals, in private and official positions, are the direct result of the reluctance of the Chinese Central Government to actively assume the responsibilities which are expected of it.

Respectfully yours,

Richard M. Service
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in his despatch No. 2047, January 20; received February 12.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1943, China, p. 161.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Gen. Shang Chen.
  6. U. S. Army Forces, China–Burma–India.