121.893/7–2247: Telegram

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

1567. Following statement released 9:30 GMT, July 22:

“A statement to the press by Lieutenant General A. C. Wedemeyer on arrival at Nanking, 22 July 1947, at the opening of his 6 weeks’ ‘fact-finding appraisal of the situation’ in China and Korea (in the words of President Truman’s 11 July announcement of the mission):

‘It is over a year since I left China after my long and pleasant assignment as Chief of Staff to the Generalissimo and as Commander of American Forces. It is most agreeable to be here among old friends, whose friendship for my country and whose cordiality to me are gratefully recalled. I have looked forward to a renewal of those friendships. I regret that my presence in China is to be brief. My time and effort must be so continuously applied to labors of prime importance to our countries that I foresee little time for exchanges of that warm hospitality which is traditional among the Chinese people.

‘To the work to be done in the coming 6 weeks I can refer at present only in general terms. I am directed by the President of the United States to make an appraisal of the over-all situation in China and Korea, i. e., of present reality in those two countries and of their capabilities with regard to rehabilitation in the foreseeable future. My mission is essentially one of fact-finding, in which I am aided by a small group of men expert in the several fields of economics, finance, engineering, and political affairs. We are interested particularly in learning and seeing something of the efficacy of measures taken by the Chinese Government, looking toward Chinese recovery.

‘It will be seen (1) that the time is short for the accomplishment of our task; (2) that the mission members must devote practically their entire time to the accumulation and evaluation of information, potentially [Page 654] of immense importance not alone to China, Korea and the United States, but obviously to the world at large; and (3) that if our work is to be of real and timely value, as I am determined it shall be, we must undertake it without prejudgement or commitment of any sort.

‘Good results are most likely to be attained through sound and careful planning based not upon what we hope to be true but upon what, through objective and thorough examination, we know to be true.

‘This statement explains why I cannot now (or, I suspect, in the near future), offer a [statement?] of expectation or intention save one—that of carrying out to the best of my ability, President Truman’s directive to me, to ascertain all facts pertinent to the political, economic and military situation, favorable and unfavorable; to relate them to each other; to appraise them in that relationship; and at the conclusion of my mission to present the sum of these labors to the President of the United States.’”