811.42793/1403: Airgram

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

A–57. 1. It would appear from the Embassy’s airgram A–69 of October 7, noon, 1943,22 and a review of the earlier correspondence that the Chinese Government is proceeding with plans whereby many hundreds of Chinese students may come to the United States either at their own expense or on Chinese Government support in addition to hundreds of technicians for whom technical training is desired.

2. Reports of these projects have aroused considerable interest in educational circles in this country. In order to reply to inquiries concerning these plans and in order to take such steps as may be feasible to insure the best possible results from the education and training these men hope to receive the Department desires a comprehensive statement concerning what has been done in this field up to date in-eluding decisions concerning the approximate numbers of students and trainees who are expected to arrive within stated periods, the nature of the instruction and training desired for them, the amount and source of their financial support, the Chinese Government agency or agencies in the United States with which the Department and interested organizations in this country may conduct correspondence concerning the students and trainees and any other information that would be useful in connection with these projects.

3. It is suggested that the Ambassador discuss this matter with the Minister for Foreign Affairs23 leaving in writing a statement of the substance of the Department’s observations in this telegram for such use as may seem wise. In the Ambassador’s discretion he may indicate that the Department would view with disfavor such political surveillance of Chinese students in this country as is described in paragraph 14 of enclosure number 2 to the Embassy’s despatch No. 1819 of November 16 last.24 The Department would require in advance satisfactory assurance that the students and trainees would [Page 1124]have dependable and adequate financial support not only to meet routine expenses, but unforeseeable contingencies such as sickness or accident. Those students coming on Government support will be expected to supply the same advance information concerning their arrangements as are required in the case of students coming on their own funds, including evidence of admission to accredited institutions. Educational institutions in this country have been in many cases disarranged by war conditions and an influx doubling the number of Chinese students now here and unable to return to China may necessitate careful planning. The Department’s Advisory Committee on the adjustment of foreign students has expressed the view that the number of Chinese students to be admitted should be limited by the opportunities for study, housing and counseling that are available to Chinese students in the institutions selected by them.

4. It should be made clear to the Chinese authorities that the Department and American educational institutions as well as business concerns that may offer training facilities welcome this opportunity to assist in China’s war effort and postwar preparations and that this request for official information concerning educational and training plans is prompted by the common desire to forestall any unfortunate developments and to bring about the best possible results.

For the information of the Embassy, the Department is exploring the possibilities of making new arrangements with the educational and training institutions of the country for handling the much expanded program of educating and training foreign students that seems likely to develop in the postwar period. If this program is to be carried on satisfactorily to all parties concerned there should be closer cooperation than before on the part of the Department, the foreign governments and the American institutions involved.