761.93/7–1345: Telegram

No. 578
The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Harriman ) to the President and the Secretary of State 1

top secret
priority

(Personal and top secret for the President and Secretary of State from Harriman.)

Soong saw Stalin and Molotov again last night (Thursday) and outlined the maximum concessions he was authorized to make along the lines of my last message (numbers 120015 and 120755, July 11–122)[.]

As to the management of the railroads he proposed equal number of directors with Chinese to be Chairman without administrative authority as a courtesy to China; the Manager of the Chinese Eastern to be Russian and the Assistant Manager Chinese; the Manager of the South Manchurian to be Chinese with a Russian as Assistant Manager. He proposed that the Port of Dairen should be a free port under Chinese management, but offered the Soviets docks and storage areas under commercial lease for their through traffic. He explained that for obvious reasons he could not agree to the Port of Dairen or the connecting railroad to be in a Soviet military zone or to be used as a Soviet naval base. Soong offered Port Arthur as a naval base for joint use but under Soviet control. There does not appear to [be?] any differences regarding Port Arthur but Stalin told Soong that his proposals regarding the Port of Dairen and the railroads were unsatisfactory. Stalin did not offer any further concessions in his demands for the control of the railroads and for the inclusion of Dairen in the military zone substantially under Soviet control. Soong then said that he felt he should return to Chungking to consult with Chiang, but would be prepared to come to Moscow again at any time Stalin wished. The meeting parted, according to Soong, in a friendly atmosphere and he expressed satisfaction with the frankness of discussion and confidence that he had gained of the friendly attitude of the Soviet Government toward the Chinese Government.

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Soong told me that he did not press Stalin further on any points as he was anxious to leave the subjects open in order to obtain your views. He is hopeful that you will be able to get Stalin to accept the Chinese position at the forthcoming conference or that you will be able to work out a compromise which the Generalissimo can accept. He did not, however, say this to Stalin, although from a political standpoint he feels that China has made a serious concession in agreeing to recognize the independence of Outer Mongolia. He feels that the discussions here have made important progress in the establishment of friendly relations between his government and the Kremlin and is satisfied with the understandings reached on questions other than those still at issue.

He is leaving for Chungking tomorrow (Saturday) morning in the plane which you placed at his disposal and hopes that it may remain there to bring him back to Moscow as soon as possible. He asked me to present this request to you.

I am leaving for Berlin with General Deane and Admiral Maples this afternoon.

  1. Sent by the United States Naval Attaché, Moscow, via Navy channels.
  2. See document No. 577.