Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Truman
Subject: Mission of General Wedemeyer to China
For some time we have been considering what action should be taken with regard to the rapidly deteriorating situation in China. We are desirous of finding ways in which we could deal with the situation in a practical and beneficial manner. The problem is both complex [Page 640] and grave. Recommendations have been made as to the type and extent of aid, military and economic, we might give China but these recommendations have seemed to me to be based somewhat upon unrealistic or insufficient appraisal of the facts, of the chances of real accomplishment, and of the far-reaching consequences of direct large-scale assistance.
For some time I have had in mind the desirability of sending Lieutenant General Wedemeyer to China with a few assistants to make a fact-finding survey of the situation and report back within a month or six weeks. He is generally familiar with the state of affairs in China and intimately known to many important Chinese officials. It is estimated that the mission would be composed of some eight or ten experts, advisers and assistants.
It is suggested, and General MacArthur11 concurs, that General Wedemeyer return via Korea for a brief survey of current conditions there.
There is attached a draft of a directive to General Wedemeyer12 for your approval.
The Secretaries of War and Navy concur.