893.00/8–2045: Telegram

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

1413. Before noon, August 19 the Generalissimo called me to his residence in the country. Present at the conference were Dr. K. C. Wu, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Generalissimo’s aide, Colonel Pei and myself. Wu translated for the Generalissimo a cable from the Chinese Ambassador Wei at Washington. The Chinese Ambassador outlined at length American post V–J Day10 policy on Lend-Lease,11 American post V–J Day policy in regard to all Lend-Lease [Page 536]goods now in India and in transit, American post V–J Day policy on UNRRA,12 the American policy regarding arming Chinese forces post V–J Day, general statements on America’s post V–J Day economic assistance to and relations with China. The Generalissimo then asked me if I had been informed of the American post V–J Day policy in China. To this question I answered in the negative. He then asked me if General Wedemeyer, the American Commander in China, had been informed. I told him I had recently talked to General Wedemeyer and that in my opinion he was not informed. Thereupon the Generalissimo sent a message to General Wedemeyer asking that General Wedemeyer and I meet at the Generalissimo’s at 8:30 p.m., August 19. We met with the Generalissimo at the appointed time. At this conference present were the Generalissimo, his interpreter, Colonel Pei, his Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. Wong Wen-hao, his Minister of War, General Chen Cheng, and other members of the Chinese civilian and military staffs. Present also were General Wedemeyer, his interpreter, Captain Eng of the U. S. Army, and myself. The Generalissimo asked me again if I had been informed of the American post V–J Day policies in regard to China to which I again answered in the negative. He then asked the American Commander, General Wedemeyer, if he had received any instructions from his Government on the American post V–J Day economic policies in China. General Wedemeyer answered in the negative. Again the Generalissimo and Dr. Wong Wen-hao informed us [of] America’s post V–J policy. The Generalissimo then asked General Wedemeyer to meet with the Minister of War, General Chen, on the morning of August 20 to make plans for the administration of the American post V–J policy. The Generalissimo requested me to meet with Minister Wong Wen-hao who would inform me fully on the American policy and with whom I could discuss the details. Up to that time neither the American military establishment nor the American Embassy had any word whatever in regard to the American policy on the various subjects above indicated for post V–J. At 11 a.m. today, through the courtesy of the FEA representatives here, we were shown circular No. 1813 from Crowley,14 FEA, signed by Byrnes, sent through Army radio and delivered to FEA this morning. The message stated in part: “Policy decisions regarding our post-war activities and particularly Lend-Lease are now being determined”. Telegram No. 1275, August 18, 3 p.m.,15 from FEA, Harding Ray, was received at Embassy at noon Sunday, August 19, but due to pressure of work in the code room it was not possible to completely decode until this [Page 537]morning, August 20. While this information from FEA, reaching us some 44 hours after the Chinese had obtained theirs, gives an indication concerning “tentative general Lend-Lease termination”, the message does not say as the Chinese message said, that extra appropriations will be made for UNRRA and that UNRRA supplies will supplement or take place of civilian Lend-Lease supplies. It does say that “final official policy will follow later by cable”. The message closes with information on personnel and replacements.

We are sending the foregoing factual statement to the Department with the feeling there is a possibility that the Chinese Ambassador in Washington may not have given a correct report of America’s post V–J Day policies for China. At the same time we feel that we should say to the Department that usually this Embassy receives first information of American changes in policy and economic commitments to China from sources other than the State Department.

Hurley
  1. September 2, the day Japan signed the surrender.
  2. See White House press release of August 21, Department of State Bulletin August 26, 1945, p. 284.
  3. United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.
  4. Circular telegram of August 18, not printed.
  5. Leo T. Crowley, Administrator of the Foreign Economic Administration.
  6. Not printed.