893.24/1723: Telegram

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

977. Your 753, June 1, 11 a.m., FEA to Fowler. Re question of possible diversions from FEA lend-lease supplies for China now in India, it would of course be desirable that the United States decision be made known to the Chinese at a moment when the military situation is less discouraging than at present when, with the Jap activities in Honan and Hunan, the Chinese are inclined again to give voice to the criticism that we have failed to supply and equip their armies, although they know full well why this has not been possible on the scale that we and they desire. The China military situation however is not likely to improve in the near future. So far as the matter has relation to visit of Vice President Wallace, I believe the decision should be communicated to the Chinese as soon as possible and in advancing Mr. Wallace’s visit during which he will no doubt give repeated assurance of our determination to aid China by lend-lease as rapidly as transport facilities permit. His reassurance can dissipate any lingering doubts in Chinese minds on the subject.

As to the method of communicating the decision, I. have to point out that since the establishment of FEA and LL representation here all discussions and negotiations have been carried on directly by and with that representation and not by or with the Embassy. In my [Page 976]opinion it would not be desirable to give the matter of diversion of supplies undue emphasis or special importance by communicating it to Chinese on higher level. The decision should be communicated by the FEA lend-lease representation in a more or less routine manner but with full explanation. Should the reaction be disagreeable, I will be glad to give support by friendly explanation and assurances in the proper quarter.