The Chargé in China (Robertson) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 25—10 a.m.]
2035. Announced on November 26 will be establishment of Supreme Economic Council which will function under general direction of President of National Government. Its Chairman and Vice Chairman will be President and Vice President of Executive Yuan respectively. Other members will be Ministers of Economic Affairs, Communications, Agriculture and Forestry, Food, Finance, Education, Social Welfare and Director of National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Up to five additional members may be appointed by President of Executive Yuan.
The Embassy is informed by Edwin A. Locke,49 personal representative of President, that establishment of this body is an outgrowth of his recommendations and discussions in recent weeks with Generalissimo, T. V. Soong and Wong Wen-hao. He states as follows (inter alia), in memorandum to Chargé d’Affaires of November 21, 1945:
“Concurrently with my economic survey I have been discussing with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, Premier T. V. Soong, and Vice Premier Wong Wen-hao our observations in the field and ways and means whereby China’s serious economic problems might best be met. In these talks we have given especial emphasis to the establishment of an agency at the highest level of authority which would:
- Develop broad and realistic policies and programs aimed at the full utilization of China’s economic resources for her reconstruction and development.
- Provide genuine coordination of the economic activities of the Govt in order to obtain desired results more rapidly and efficiently.
- Provide more effective follow up on the execution of policies and programs by responsible Govt agencies; and
- Make informative frank and periodic reports to the Chinese national economic conditions and progress.
Throughout these talks, which have been carried on in a spirit of candor, cordiality and sincere friendship, I have made the point that in my judgment China would obtain best results by marshalling all her economic powers in order to help herself rather than by regarding foreign aid as the main key to the solution of her economic problem.”
For the Department’s information, draft law for the organization of the Supreme Economic Council (Embtel 2034, November 25, 3 p.m.50) was written by members of the Locke Mission in collaboration with Dr. Wong Wen-hao. Text of the Generalissimo’s statement on China’s economic problems to be delivered at first meeting of Supreme Economic Council November 26 was also written by same persons. Because text of this speech is being widely distributed, in accordance with instructions to Minister of Information51 by T. V. Soong after discussions with Mr. Locke, Embassy will not forward a copy unless so requested. Mr. Locke writes that the establishment of this Supreme Economic Council completes his mission and he intends leaving for Washington November 26.