893.48/5–1747: Telegram

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

610. Although relief act28 authorizes procurement by foreign governments it clearly indicates preference for U. S. Federal procurement. Arrangements now being made for Dept Agric to procure all foodstuffs and contract for and schedule shipping. Point of transfer to Chinese would be at shipside U. S. port. Reurtel 1081 May 17 repeated Shanghai 457 May 17, supplies remain subject to diversion by U. S. at all times.

Extent and nature of post-UNRRA relief program if any for China depends upon amount of final appropriation and economic and food conditions in China which may develop over next few months. If final appropriation should be limited to $200 million extremely doubtful whether any program for China or at any rate more than token program could be undertaken. Dept agrees with statement in Urtel 1081 May 17 that continuation of CNRRA program on present basis is not feasible under new program. Tentatively agree that program might center around direct food distribution in deficit areas and sale through commercial channels under rationing and price controls where they are in force with the caution of course that such relief supplies cannot alone support this ration system. Suggest Emb request Chinese submit limited food program designed meet urgent needs, and indicate quantities and method of distribution each area involved. Further comments and recommendations from Emb on nature of program and method distribution which will be most effective within relatively limited scope would be helpful.

Qualifications of Ennis Reurtel 1025 May 1229 repeated Shanghai 440 May 12 appear to be satisfactory. However in view of extensive discussions in Congress highly critical of UNRRA believe it would be [Page 1308] inadvisable to use former UNRRA employee as chief relief adviser. Suggest further inquiries be made to see if another qualified person can be obtained.

Final relief act provided several restrictions not contemplated in early draft agreement and later draft being airmailed immediately.30 Bill authorizes assistance limited to food, medical supplies, processed and unprocessed materials for clothing, fuel, fertilizer, pesticides and seed. Congress included fuel and processed and unprocessed materials for clothing only after considerable discussion and statement by Dept representative that these items would be restricted to small amount primarily in Austria. Sent to Nanking as Depts 610 repeated to Shanghai as Depts 838. Questionable therefore whether they could or should be included in any program for China Reurtel 1005 May 931 repeated Shanghai 423 May 9.

  1. Public Law 84 approved May 31, 1947; 61 Stat. 125.
  2. Not printed; it asked for the Department’s instructions as to recruitment and organization of a relief advisory staff and passed along the Consulate General’s recommendation to consider R. B. Ennis, “now with UNRRA and CNRRA” as Senior Relief Adviser (893.48/5–1247).
  3. Presumably draft agreement between the United States and Italy dated May 26, not printed; it was sent to the Embassy in China the same day for information purposes.
  4. Not printed.