803.00/4–3045: Telegram

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

696. The list of members of the Fourth People’s Political Council scheduled to meet July 5 was announced on April 23 after having been approved by the Supreme National Defense Council. The total membership has been increased to 290 compared with 240 for the third PPC; 5 members are National Socialists, 8 are Communists (4 in the Third PPC), and 9 are Youth Party representatives (4 in Third PPC). Eight members are from Mongolia and Tibet, 8 from overseas and 75 from cultural associations and economic societies. The more prominent non-Kuomintang members include Mao Tze-tung, Chou En-lai, Teng Yung-chiao (Mrs. Chou En-lai), Lin Tze-han and Tung Pi-wu (Communist); Li Huang and Tso Shun-sheng (Youth Party); Carson Chang and Chang Lan (National Socialists); and Bishop Paul Yu-pin, Hu Shih and James Yen (non-party).

According to the Ta Kung Pao, the Fourth PPC represents certain improvements: (1) More members have been elected, those provinces and municipalities which have their own councils having elected their own members; (2) The number of members of other political parties has been increased, non-partisan members being mostly persons of prominence; (3) The power of the PPC has been extended to include rights not granted to former sessions, including the right to examine the national budget; and (4) It has been given the important task of discussing problems concerning the convocation of the National Assembly. The PPC (states the Ta Kung Pao) is “a [consultative?] organ representing public opinion and is far short of the standard of a democratic parliament. We hope that after successfully discharging its duties it will no longer be required”.