The Secretary of the Navy (Forrestal) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: About two weeks ago you raised the question at the meeting of the three Secretaries as to what constructive steps could be taken to manifest our continuing interest, and support of, China. I take the liberty of expanding a little on the suggestion I made at that time:

I believe that the United States should offer to send to China a mission comprising men of practical knowledge (not necessarily economists or so-called fiscal experts) in the field of government finance, national banking, industrial production, transportation and agriculture.

The men selected for this mission should be of sufficient stature to command respect not only in China but here.

I believe American business would do its best to provide people of competence and experience. I believe it would be helpful to your general objective of making it plain to the Chinese that we are willing to be of help to them but not as a source of charity which turns to booty for the particular piratical group that you found leeching the economic health and prosperity of China.

This is easier to write than to implement but I believe that something along this nature must be done. The start was made in the 30’s by Jean Monnet,48 who was at that time an associate in a small banking firm called Monnet and Murnane in New York.

Sincerely yours,

James Forrestal
  1. French banker who in 1933 became chairman of a consultative committee organized by the Chinese Minister of Finance, T. V. Soong.