Message From Chungking to the War Department, January 22, 194456

State Department message on President’s reply to Gimo, not yet received by Ambassador, who has been shown your 4334 dated 21st January and your 4289 dated 26th57 January. Ambassador feels clarification President’s message necessary before acting, and has requested transmission following message to Secretary of State in order to ensure fastest possible delivery and requests delivery of original and not paraphase to Secretary of State.

“The wording of the last paragraph of President’s message may readily be misconstrued by the Chinese. They would undoubtedly view the furnishing of fapi over and above the amount obtainable at the official exchange rate, either outright as envisaged by the [Page 861] Somervell–Clay proposal or under reverse Lend Lease, as preponderant contribution on their part toward the cost of the American War Effort. They may well argue that we are ignoring the language in the last paragraph of the President’s message to the effect that the United States will pay all of its Army expenses in view of China’s inability to contribute thereto financially. For the above reason I recommend that consideration be given to eliminating or clarifying the final paragraph of the President’s message. I have not yet received instructions from the Department. Doctor Acheson58 concurs. Gauss.”

  1. Copy transmitted by Maj. Gen. Lucius D. Clay to Alger Hiss, Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Hornbeck), on January 24.
  2. Marginal notation: “Should read 15th”.
  3. Edward C. Acheson, Financial Adviser to General Stilwell.