893.00/12–346: Telegram

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

2028. Summary special Ministry of Information press conference on National Assembly December 2 with Sun Fo, President [of] Legislative Yuan and member National Assembly presidium: Government ready at all times to resume peace negotiations with Communists and would welcome participation by Communists in reorganized government at any time. Had not heard of any new developments in peace talks but Govt was leaving door wide open.

National Assembly likely recess for few days or week at most as soon as nine committees formed which will study draft constitution, section by section, in order to make recommendations to the Assembly for adoption as written or recommend changes. Asked if expected important changes in draft, Sun Fo replied that is up to committee.

Queried about Assembly discussion over disputed sections, Sun Fo continued: Some delegates objected because National Assembly given too few powers and Legislative Yuan too many powers. May 5 draft which gave National Assembly additional power to elect President, amend constitution, and right to elect members of legislative and control Yuans, not sufficiently democratic because, it would give Assembly body of two to three thousand a monopoly over the selection of the people who would make the laws of the nation and execute them too. Power of National Assembly now limited two functions—(1) to act as electoral college to elect President with power of recall also and (2) to propose and adopt amendments to constitution.

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Objection by other political parties to widespread powers of Assembly well taken since would not be direct democracy. Legislative and control Yuans should be elected directly by provincial electorate.

Confusion of ideas causes much of criticism. For instance, criticism by some delegates that present draft violates division of powers is mistaken criticism because people not studied subject thoroughly. For member Legislative Yuan sit in Assembly not division of power because any person as employee of Government has limited function but as citizen can vote and exercise his political right. As example, President United States votes in American elections.

Up to now, no immediate indication State Council or other parts of Government would be reorganized during Assembly. Reorganization will be soon but not in next few days.

Saw no compelling reason to change provision constitution making Nanking permanent capital.

Stuart