893.60 Manchuria/5–1546: Telegram

The Consul General at Mukden ( Clubb ) to the Secretary of State

75. I proceeded Anshan May 11 and returned 12th. ReConstel May 2, 5 p.m. Following are highlights brief inspection Anshan steelworks. Despatch follows.49

Repeated Nanking as 40.

“Showa” plant is completely idle. Chinese claim equipment removed by Soviet from 6 of local 9 blast furnaces. Time factor prevented my verification extent dismantling but apparently furnaces structurally intact. Elements removed by Soviets from Showa as whole included 6 of 10 power plant boilers; 2 of 4 blowers; 2 mixers, 6 steel ovens and all cranes and rolling equipment in number 2 open hearth and rolling mill; rail mill installations; steel mill equipment; two batteries each of 36 units of coking ovens; steel plate mill was stripped of rolling machinery and cranes. Bar mill equipment was dismantled but not removed, rolling mill number 1 and by products plant remain intact as well as various sections in above named plant.

Of 11 subsidiaries (also idle) to Showa plant, machinery largely intact in plant: Wire and corrugated iron, seamed pipe, rolling mill, [steel-]truss factory, foundry, cement, wire cable; however, Soviets removed all machinery from seamless pipe plant, including cranes, and reputedly also removed equipment from refracting plant and chemical works which however were not viewed.

Additional damage was done reputedly by Communist Eighth Route Army, this damage centering on electrical power sub stations. Part of such damage was attributed to local Chinese population, [Page 1127] which was also held chiefly responsible for destruction of roofing and wooden parts of structures. Large stocks steel products remain on site and there is estimated 1 year supply iron ore at normal rate operations in yards.

Main difficulties in rehabilitation plant are three. 1. There is immediate lack of power. Plant previously was served with 270,000 kw. coming from Yalu installation now no longer at command National Govt. There was reserve plant producing 70,000 kw. at Anshan but from that plant Soviets removed two generators producing respectively 25,000 and 18,000 kw. and left behind two generators of capacities 18,000 and 12,500.

2. Important deficiency will be felt as regards personnel in connection with any future planning. In administration of enterprises there were some 5,000 Jap engineers and technical staff at top. Chinese personnel comprised almost exclusively ordinary laborers. Chinese officials state that they intend house temporarily about 1,000 Jap technicians, and that if they get (from USA) what they need they anticipate that they can resume operation with 1 blast furnace 6 months hence. Chinese technical inexperience alone, however, probably would make for inefficient use foreign skills, whether Jap or other, and retard for considerable time efficient use even of remaining sections of plant under Chinese direction.

3. Finally, political dissension Manchuria obstructs recovery. Plans largely dependent, for instance, on Penhsihu coal mines, but these badly crippled through recent action Communists prior to withdrawal before advance Govt. troops.

ReConstel, inspection revealed no substantial damage caused to plant by American bombing and that estimate 70 to 80 percent removal equipment by Soviets was substantial exaggeration if plant be taken as whole. This believed [apparent garble] even if true as stated by Chinese official without substantiating evidence, that Soviets removed over 900 trainloads, or more than 70,000 tons, loot from Anshan. Loot from that point included, be it noted, livestock, grain, household furnishings, et cetera.

  1. Not printed.