The Ambassador in China ( Gauss ) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 1.]
Sir: Referring to the Embassy’s despatch no. 1927 of December 18, 1943,22 in regard to the pay and allowances of the Chinese Army, I have the honor to enclose a copy of a letter dated January 8, 1944,22 from Mr. George Grim, radio news specialist sent by the Department for service with the Ministry of Information, in regard to the training and supply systems and the hospitalization of the Chinese armed forces. Mr. Grim’s observations are based on information obtained by him during a recent trip to the Tungting Lake area in Hunan as a member of the official party of foreign correspondents and military observers.
Summary. Chinese may escape induction into the army by the payment of CN$100 and rice contributions at regular intervals. District magistrates must fill an annual fixed quota and “throwing a rope around the neck of an unwilling coolie seen walking down a street” is a frequent occurrence. Draftees, from 18 to 45 years of age, receive [Page 6] three weeks’ basic training which includes political indoctrination of questionable quality, following which they may be sent into actual combat service or used as required for replacements in battle-trained units. Weapons and ammunition are insufficient, and poor communications and difficulty of obtaining replenishment supplies frequently result in Chinese units running short of ammunition during battle. An important factor causing poor morale among Chinese troops is the knowledge that they will not be likely to be treated for wounds they may receive. Many of the wounded at Changteh are said to have waited from eighteen to thirty days before being treated for wounds suffered during the Changteh fighting.