Memorandum by the Secretary of State to the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Vincent)
Mr. Vincent: The President this morning had one or two communications regarding the situation in China which apparently had disturbed him. He questioned me specifically as to whether or not the time had come when we must give the National Government ammunition.
I explained that this presented the most difficult issue before our Government in the present Chinese situation. If we advance ammunition, [Page 804] we certainly could be charged with assisting in the civil war. Also such action on our part would convince the reactionaries that they are in a sufficiently strong position to maintain themselves against the effort to bring some of the so-called liberal elements into power.
I told the President that the situation in China was deteriorating, I thought, rapidly and that sooner or later we would have to act. However, at the present instant, overt action on our part would virtually stabilize the Kuomintang Party in its present personnel.
I wish you would discuss this with your associates and see me about it today or tomorrow.