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

No. 111

Sir: Mr. Achilles [Achille] Clarac, Counselor of the French Embassy, called on Counselor Atcheson on January 26, 1945 and handed him the enclosed “note”57 in French with English translation which he requested be forwarded to the American Government. The note appears to be self-explanatory. Mr. Atcheson made no comment to Mr. Clarac in regard to its contents.

[Here follow two paragraphs concerning American policy toward Indochina.]

One aspect of the maneuvers in China of the imperialistic powers which has struck me since the beginning of my sojourn here is the assistance rendered to them (especially to the British) by American lend lease. The British intelligence and other agencies in China are supplied by air in lend lease planes. General A. Carton de Wiart, Personal Representative of Mr. Churchill and head of most of the widespread British intelligence system in China, has a personal American lend lease plane. It has been my observation that British agents here are opposed—some of them frankly so—to our policy of working for a strong, united and democratic China. China is not, of course, the only part of the world in which American lend lease has been used, is being used and will be used for the purpose of defeating the principles for which we profess to be fighting this war. I do not blame the British or other lend lease beneficiary governments for employing lend lease or other aid to attain their ends. I feel that it is at least in [Page 41] part our fault that they are able so to do. From my observations in China I am of the opinion that responsibility for this situation rests in considerable measure upon ourselves for failure to implement concretely the policy to which we are committed. The apparent continuing lack of affirmative American policy on the question of the future status of Indochina will eventually result in a vitiation of what I understand to be among the fundamentals of our war aims insofar as that country is concerned.

Respectfully yours,

Patrick J. Hurley
  1. Not printed.