The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 19—11 a.m.]
1581. I showed General Stilwell your 1166, September 2, 5 p.m. and induced him to accompany or send general officer with me to see Chiang. Stilwell was of opinion this was unnecessary and suggested I handle matter alone with Chiang. I informed Foreign. Minister of import of your message. He made no comment beyond saying he could not understand our reason for unwillingness to support proposal for three power conference. He arranged appointment for me to see Chiang on 14th. Atcheson8 accompanied me. When I had informed Chiang of your message and statement of policy of Chief of Staff, Chiang commented that he had not instructed Foreign Minister to ask for three power conference but had told him to seek written understanding with United States as well as British on civil administration of liberated areas. Political Vice Minister [for] Foreign Affairs,9 who was interpreting, states Foreign Office has a draft of proposed written understanding and suggested to Chiang that after consulting Foreign Minister this draft might be communicated to United States. Matter was left in that state. Atcheson and I are of opinion that Chiang’s object in seeking written understanding may be to provide that when civil administration of liberated areas is turned over to civil authorities the Chinese likely wish to stipulate that it shall be handed over to nation’s authorities and not to local authorities. Foreign Minister in acting on Chiang’s instructions probably saw an. opportunity to ask for three-power conference on wide scope and possibly a conference abroad to which he might go to attend. I shall do nothing further in matter unless approached by Foreign Office.