Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Lend-Lease and Surplus War Property Affairs (Fetter)

Colonel McCormack called at his request late Saturday afternoon to discuss a proposed telegram to General Wedemeyer on lend-lease assistance to China following the formal surrender of Japan. The War Department recently sent a directive to General Wedemeyer pointing out that the continued resistance of Japanese forces in China following the formal surrender of Japan might call for continued military assistance to the Chinese. The proposed cable to General Wedemeyer instructed him until further notice not to “change military lend-lease to China”. I suggested to Colonel McCormack that this apparently instructed General Wedemeyer to make no change in lend-lease policy, and pointed out in view of the danger of civil war in China and the possible criticism that would be directed against our lend-lease policy if civil war should break out, the desirability of making clear in the telegram that the continuation of lend-lease was to be based upon the necessity of bringing about an early surrender of Japanese forces in the China theater. I suggested that the instruction on lend-lease be changed to read that General Wedemeyer make no change in military lend-lease to China that would “reduce the capacity of the Chinese central government to complete expeditiously the surrender of all Japanese forces in the China theater.” Colonel McCormack made this change in the draft.

Colonel McCormack said that he would probably submit this draft telegram to Judge Patterson18 on Monday, August 27, and that Judge Patterson might well call one of the higher political officers in the Department in regard to the matter.

  1. Robert P. Patterson, Secretary of War.