The Special Assistant in the Division of Cultural Relations (Peck) to Mr. Lennig Sweet of the United China Relief
My Dear Mr. Sweet: There has been brought to the attention of the Department a proposal that in addition to the portion of the National War Fund allotted for general relief expenditures in China, a special allotment be made for the relief of families of members of faculties of educational institutions in China.[Page 1112]
Reports received by the Department are to the effect that the inflationary conditions unfortunately existing in China have brought the families of these faculty members to extreme destitution and that while the Chinese Government, United China Relief and one or two other organizations have carried out some measures of financial aid the situation of such families is still most distressing. In order to provide their dependents with food and clothing many men of high intellectual attainments have been obliged to abandon their academic positions and seek higher remuneration elsewhere. Such men are not seeking higher incomes in order to provide themselves with luxuries, or even to achieve a position of economic security and independence; they merely wish to preserve their families from physical suffering and malnutrition and such ailments as tuberculosis resulting from inadequate food. An effort should certainly be made to relieve the anxiety caused to these faculty members by their inability to provide their families with sufficient clothing and sufficient nourishment.
It is the Department’s opinion, therefore, that it would be highly desirable to make a special allotment from the War Fund to be utilized by United China Relief for the aid of the families of faculty members in educational institutions in China. In view of the respected position occupied by men in this calling, such assistance would have to be distributed in as tactful a manner as possible. The Chinese Government has made a successful effort to continue its educational establishments in operation through all the hardships of the last six years of struggle with Japan. The aid that has now been suggested might be represented as an expression of American sympathy for a class of persons who are suffering in this struggle to maintain education in the face of adverse conditions, even though their involvement in the struggle is an incidental one, arising from family relationship.