740.00119 Potsdam/8–745: Telegram

No. 1252
The Ambassador in China ( Hurley ) to the President and the Secretary of State 1
top secret

(The following message is top secret and urgent for the eyes alone of the Secretary of State James F Byrnes Potsdam, Germany for the President from Ambassador Hurley.)

[Page 1283]

The following are sidelights that may be helpful to you. The translation was not finished until after midnight. We then had difficulty in procuring a ferry to cross the Yangtze. The Prime Minister2 declined to go out to Yellow Mountain with me in the night. This morning, K C Wu, Assistant Minister of Foreign Relations, accompanied me to the Generalissimo’s residence at Yellow Mountain. The Generalissimo read the translation carefully, then K C Wu interpreted my explanation of the necessity for immediate concurrence. The Generalissimo was kindly and courteous throughout. After he had told me that he concurred in the proclamation Dr Wang Shih Chieh, Minister of Information, arrived at the conference. It became necessary to explain the whole situation again to Wang. Incidentally Wang is to succeed the Prime Minister as Minister of Foreign Relations. When Chiang Kai Shek had approved the message of concurrence we found the telephone out of order. It was necessary for me to return to Chungking to contact facilities for transmission to you. The message was sent through both Army and Navy systems.

Two points which the Generalissimo wished to state in his message were omitted on my suggestion. I am stating them here for your information.

The Generalissimo wished to explain that it would be helpful to his position in China if the words “President of the National Government of the Republic of China” should follow “President of the United States”. He considers both you and himself as the supreme heads of nations while the Prime Minister3 is a secondary official.
He desired me to stress in the message an expression of his desire for China to be invited to be present at all future United Nations conferences on Asia. He said he realized the difficulties of the past which prevented his attendance and was very tolerant in his attitude toward those conditions. He stated however that decisions pertaining to Asia made in conferences without China being represented puts him in an undesirable position with the people of China. Especially is this true when he is asked to concur in decisions made in the absence of China’s representatives without giving him an opportunity to procure the opinions of his advisors. His concurrence and his whole attitude were constructive and without rancor. He expressed appreciation of your friendship for China.
  1. Sent by the Commander, Naval Group, China, via Navy channels.
  2. T. V. Soong.
  3. i. e., Churchill.