The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 20—5:20 a.m.]
609. Several groups of Nanking University students—all members of the San Min Chu I Youth Corps—planned a large demonstration for March 18 to protest Soviet attitude toward China at the current Moscow conference. This demonstration was to follow the other demonstrations throughout China on the same question and apparently had at least the tacit consent of the Govt. On March 17, Minister of Information instructed all Nanking newspapers that no information on this demonstration was to be published in the local press. All papers complied that day with the exception of the Chiu Kuo Jih Pao, organ of the Board of Political Education of the National Military Council, famous for its rabidly anti-Communist attitude, which ran an editorial stating that as long as Peng Hsueh-pei is Minister of Information, the paper will follow the policy of doing the exact opposite of his instructions. On the morning of March 18, the Generalissimo is reported to have informed the Minister of Education that he did not desire at this time to permit any step which might antagonize the Soviet Union and therefore the demonstration should be called off or at least held to a minimum. It is known that the same day the Minister persuaded universities to withdraw from the projected demonstration which was finally composed of not more than 2, 000 middle school students, mostly from their appearance under 15 years of age, and a few stragglers. The parade therefore lacked a certain inspiration and, though plastering parts of town and passing automobiles with anti-Soviet posters, never succeeded in reaching the Soviet Embassy. Nanking press March 19 was permitted to print [Page 621] brief announcement of the event issued by Central News Agency. A few papers ran brief and inconsequential reports of their own.