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

No. 2768

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s airmail instruction no. 557, March 14, 1944, suggesting that the Embassy ascertain from Dean Harold L. Cross of the Post-Graduate School of Journalism of the Central Political Institute of the Kuomintang whether he does not feel that the opportunity to serve in a Party institution has advantages, and to report that the matter was carefully discussed with Dean Cross in April when he was requested to present his views in writing at his convenience. On subsequent occasions he was reminded of it but not until just prior to his return to the U. S. did he submit a memorandum, dated June 28, 1944 (a copy of which is enclosed41), on the subject.

In his memorandum Dean Cross states that he proposes to write a more comprehensive report on the subject and hopes to submit a copy of this report to the Department after he has had leisure to complete it in the United States.

Dean Cross states that he believes the work done by him and the three other American professors in the Post-Graduate School of Journalism during the past scholastic year has been worth while in as much as it gave the students a favorable view of the evolution of the [Page 1147] freedom of the press in the United States and Great Britain not otherwise available to them. He also says that the time has not yet come for a final valuation of the service rendered by the school, but, in his opinion, whatever good comes from the service rendered does not flow from the fact that it was connected with a Party institution and that it would have been more useful had it been rendered in one of a different status.

The Embassy inclines to the opinion that American democratic influence on the Party itself is unlikely to be seriously advanced through a few individuals who come to China for a limited period in connections similar to that of Dean Cross, though their influence on individual Chinese may have far-reaching effects that may go further in the long run than is realized at the time. This influence would depend upon the personalities of the Americans and their Chinese contacts to a degree that would be extremely difficult to estimate, as it would involve many imponderables of character and personality. No harm would be perceived in permitting Americans, who are willing and who know the difficulties to be faced, to serve in capacities where they would deal with Party organs, so long as they were able to do useful work and it is possible that some influence might be brought to bear to render the Party more democratic in certain aspects through the personalities of some of these Americans. However, it is felt that this work might better be done as an incidental result of the impact of a strong but tactful American personality on a complicated situation, rather than as a primary function of his job.

Respectfully yours,

C. E. Gauss
  1. Not printed.