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

No. 517

Sir: The Department refers to its recent telegraphic instruction9 conveying information regarding the success of Professor F. N. M. Brown in obtaining offers from American universities to accept as paid members of their staffs a few Chinese professors of engineering and a larger number of graduate engineers.

There are enclosed herewith copies of the letters,10 in duplicate, addressed to Professor Brown by the institutions making these offers. Two lists of the letters are likewise enclosed.11 It is suggested that one set of the copies be handed to Mr. Ku, Vice Minister of Education, for his use in selecting candidates for these positions.

The Department believes that if the Chinese Government finds it possible to select suitable candidates for these posts and to make adequate travel and financial arrangements for them covering their travel to and from the United States and their residence in this country, the appointees will receive unusual professional advantages. It is quite possible, also, that because of the shortage of trained personnel in the United States at the present time the institutions themselves will likewise be benefited. In this regard much will depend on the aptitude and caliber of the engineers who may be selected.

The Embassy will recall that the Department has in earlier instructions called attention to the desirability of establishing a Chinese supervisory agency to oversee the technical training of Chinese in the United States. Since it would appear that no such central supervisory agency has yet been set up by the Chinese Government the Department desires that the Embassy impress upon the Vice Minister of Education the necessity of making some Chinese agency in the United States responsible for arrangements connected with the arrival of the appointees under this project, such as the purchase of necessary equipment and with settling them in their positions. The institutions concerned will doubtless wish to know the agency with which they should communicate in regard to any circumstances connected with these matters that cannot be arranged satisfactorily with the appointees themselves. The engineers, also, should have some agency to which they can appeal in case of need.

The colleges offering these paid positions seem to feel that the scale of remuneration, although it is different in different cases, will in each case provide a subsistence allowance. Nevertheless, it is not to be assumed that the colleges will hold themselves responsible for the [Page 1117] welfare of the men they employ in the event of unforeseeable contingencies, such as severe or protracted illnesses, accidents, etc. It is possible that in these contingencies the colleges and the appointees might be entitled to appeal, in the absence of a specially designated agency, to the Chinese Embassy at Washington; if that is the case, it would be well to have the arrangement understood in advance.

Considerable effort has been expended in obtaining these offers of employment. If the plan can be carried out successfully, it will be reciprocally advantageous. It is hoped that the Embassy will extend to the Chinese authorities such advice and assistance as may conduce to the successful carrying out of the plan. It is now too late to take advantage of four of the five positions offered by Notre Dame University and they were not included in the Department’s telegram. It would be advisable for the Ministry of Education and the Commission on Aeronautical Affairs to fill the other positions, so far as the terms of the offers permit, at their early convenience.

In conclusion, there are enclosed12 a copy of a letter dated August 24, 1943, addressed to the Secretary of State by Dr. Y. H. Ku, Vice Minister of Education, expressing gratification over the visit of Professor Brown and a copy and the original of a reply to this letter. Unless the Embassy has suggestions to make concerning the contents of the reply, it should be sent to the Vice Minister.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
G. Howland Shaw
  1. Supra.
  2. None printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Enclosures not printed.