893.20 Mission/6–446

The Acting Secretary of War (Royall) to the Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Secretary: At the present time the War Department is confronted with numerous problems in deciding what equipment and supplies should be held by the War Department to meet approved foreign commitments and in determining its responsibility toward implementation and support of these programs. This is especially true of the Chinese programs.

The President has laid down as a principle of American Policy towards China that “As China moves towards peace and unity … the U. S. would be prepared to assist the National Government (of China) in every respect as to … establishing a military organization capable of discharging China’s national and international responsibilities for the maintenance of peace and order”.29 In keeping with the President’s policy as enunciated above, SWNCC30 has stated that [Page 744] the U. S. should be prepared to support, with U. S. military supplies, the armed forces in China to the extent needed to accomplish the establishment of a modern and effective military organization.

In implementation of the above policy, there are four supply and equipment programs of military assistance to the Chinese now recognized by the War Department:

Reoccupation Requirements Program: This is the program now being implemented to support the Chinese reoccupation mission and the repatriation of Japanese from China.

8Air Group Program: This program is designed to modernize the Chinese Air Force; it is expected that supply action will be completed in Mid 1946.

Training Equipment Program: This program provides training and equipment to facilitate the reorganization and integration of the Chinese armies, as agreed upon by General Marshall and the National and Communist leaders in China. The only important items thus far included are those for Communist units as requested by General Marshall. Further requirements will arise as Chinese schools and training are initiated as recommended by the U. S. Military Advisory Group.

Chinese Peace Time Army Program: Implementation is not planned until Mid 1947, when it is expected the reorganization of the Chinese armies will have been completed, and the Chinese Army reduced to 60 divisions (including 10 Communist).

The scope and timing of the first three Programs outlined above have been coordinated with State Department officials in Washington and with General Marshall in China.

As regards the Peace Time Army Program, the present fluid situation and uncertainty of the future do not permit at this time the approval of a firm program to be implemented in 1947 or later. Nevertheless, if military type items are to be available in U. S. stocks for future support of such a program, it is necessary to take action immediately. A study made by China Theater and accepted by the Chinese Minister of War, indicates that it is desirable that equipment (military items only) for the equivalent of 10 U. S. divisions be retained for support of the Peace Time Chinese Army Program. As indicated above, it would be premature to give China Theater’s study formal approval for full implementation. This matter will be further developed at the appropriate time by the U. S. Military Advisory Group to China. However, the present study forms an adequate basis for decision as to retention of Army stocks to support the program.

It is requested that the State Department concur in the policy of continued study, with the appropriate Chinese Officials, of a Peace Time Army Program; and in the retention in U. S. Army stocks, as outlined above, of appropriate items to support this program when finally approved for implementation.

Sincerely yours,

Kenneth Royall
  1. Omissions indicated in the original. For statement of December 15, 1945, see Department of State, United States Relations With China (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1949), p. 607.
  2. State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee.