740.00119 Pacific War/31

The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

No. 2024

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a copy of despatch No. 10 of December 31, 1943,17 from the Secretary on detail at Chengtu,20 in regard to reported activities of Dr. Leighton Stuart, former president of [Page 5] Yenching University at Peiping, in connection with an alleged previous offer by the Japanese of peace terms to the Chinese Government.21

Summary. Mr. Stevens states that according to a Chinese informant Dr. Stuart attempted to induce the Chungking authorities in the spring of 1941 to accept Japanese peace terms which included the expeditious withdrawal of all Japanese troops from intra-mural China, the Japanese being motivated by a desire to have their troops released for an attack on Soviet Russia. General Chiang Kai-shek was said to have refused the peace offer after consultation with the Chinese Embassies at Washington and London, and the Japanese subsequently refused to allow Dr. Stuart to be included in the exchange arrangements concluded by the American and Japanese Governments because of his knowledge of their designs against Soviet Russia. End of Summary.

Respectfully yours,

C. E. Gauss

N. B. Informant mentioned by Mr. Stevens is S. C. Liao, Vice President of the Szechuan Association of Gentry, one of the writers of a letter recently addressed to President Roosevelt (Embassy’s despatch No. 1971, Dec. 27, 194322).

  1. Not printed.
  2. Harry E. Stevens.
  3. For Dr. Stuart’s own account of his “supposed connection with Japanese peace efforts”, see John Leighton Stuart, Fifty Years in China; the Memoirs of John Leighton Stuart, Missionary and Ambassador (New York, Random House, 1954), pp. 132–133.
  4. Not printed.