893.24/3–447: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Belgium (Kirk)

397. If Spaak brings up question sale munitions to China (Embtel 329, Mar 4) or if you feel it desirable he have a clearer understanding of our position in this regard, you may informally give him following background:

During General Marshall’s mission to China it became apparent continuation at that time of export munitions from US to China not conducive to peace and unity in China or in best interests US and action therefore taken suspend export combat items military equipment which might have bearing on prosecution civil war and internal situation in China. Dept beginning Aug 1946 withheld approval export licenses for export such items to China56 and General Marshall in Sept caused issuance directive to US military commanders concerned ordering temporary suspension military supply action to Chinese Govt,57 which order still in effect. British Govt has similarly [Page 811] refused permit export such matériel to Chinese Govt and Canadians have indicated willingness cooperate in this matter.

In communicating foregoing to Spaak, you may inform him that you are doing so to enable him understand our policy in this regard and not with view to pressing him to take action which might be embarrassing to him.

  1. See letter of August 23, 1946, to the chairman of the Chinese Supply Commission, Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. x, p. 757.
  2. See letter No. OSE 466, September 27, from General Marshall to General Gillem, ibid., p. 761.