893.61A/8–246: Telegram

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

1248. Minister of Agriculture today delivered to Embassy following letter dated July 31, 1946 Nanking, China from Generalissimo to President Truman in response to President’s letter June 17, 1946 concerning United States agricultural mission to China:

“My Dear President Truman: It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge receipt of your letter of June 17, 1946, delivered in person by General of the Army of the United States, George C. Marshall. We are very appreciative of the splendid response you have made to the request of this Government for the despatch of an agricultural technical mission to this country.

We have been for centuries primarily an agricultural nation. The farmer is traditionally regarded with affection and respect. During recent times, unfortunately, our agricultural technique has fallen behind due to delay in the adoption and application of new scientific methods. I am keenly conscious of the fact that unless and until Chinese agriculture is modernized, Chinese industry cannot develop, as long as industry remains undeveloped, the general economy of the country cannot greatly improve. For this reason, I heartily agree with you that any plan for cooperation in economic development between our two countries should include agriculture.

I feel highly complimented by your statement that China has contributed some valuable material to your agriculture. I sincerely hope that, through your co-operation, we shall be able to make further significant contributions to this field, for the benefit of mankind.

I congratulate you upon the happy selection that you have made of the personnel constituting your mission. On our part, we have chosen a corresponding number of men of high quality and long [Page 1284] experience to work in conjunction with your mission. Already the spirit of cooperation between the two groups is evident. It is my firm belief that the two groups working together will succeed in evolving plans and projects which will prove beneficial to China as well as helpful to the development of economic and trade relations between our two countries.

We are now actively taking up the work of national reconstruction. Agricultural improvement being the foundation of such reconstruction, I assure you that the work of your mission will receive my continued attention and support.

I avail myself of this opportunity to convey to you my warmest regards and highest esteem. Very sincerely yours, signed Chiang Kai-shek”.

Original Chinese text of letter has already been released to press here and English text may be released at will in United States. Original Chinese text and translation of letter being forwarded airmail.37 Minister of Agriculture express[ed] regret to Embassy for long delay in responding President’s letter.

  1. As enclosures to despatch No. 23, August 2, from the Ambassador in China, not printed.