800.0146/9–1644: Telegram

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

1219. On the subject of civil affairs administration in areas recovered by the military (telegram 1166, September 2, 5:00 p.m.) Joint Chiefs of Staff have informed the Department that it has authorized General Stilwell or his Chief of Staff, in company with you, to call on Chiang Kai-shek and inform him of our broad over-all policy for civil affairs administration along the lines communicated to you in paragraph 2 of the Department’s reference telegram.

In response to a request from the Department for a statement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s attitude, should the Chinese Government request a civil affairs agreement, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have expressed the following opinion: If for political reasons the Department of State deems it expedient to do so, we perceive no military objection to entering into a civil affairs agreement with the Chinese, should they express a desire for such an agreement, provided the agreement is limited to broad policies. It is our opinion that the agreement should make no reference to specific areas; should be limited strictly to military purposes [Page 1169] during the period of military occupation; and should be consummated on a military level. All similar agreements by the United States with occupied countries of Europe have been negotiated and consummated on a military level.

It is not contemplated or desired, of course, that you initiate or encourage discussion of a civil affairs agreement with the Chinese but the Department will appreciate being informed promptly and fully with regard to your call on Chiang and with regard to any developments therefrom.