893.6359/10–147: Telegram

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

2006. Dr. Wong Wen-hao, chairman of National Resources Commission, September 29 informed Embassy officer in strictest confidence that Chinese Government had recently been approached by Swiss Minister on behalf of unidentified Swiss interests with offer to cooperate [Page 1022] with Chinese Government in surveying and developing Chinese deposits of uranium and allied minerals (reference Department’s instruction 419, September 10 and Embassy’s despatch 1015, September 22, both Top Secret). Wong said Swiss emphasized their interest altogether in peace-time uses of such minerals and that no question could possibly arise as to any ulterior motives such as might prompt powerful nation to make similar offer.

Wong stated he had referred offer to Generalissimo who instructed offer be accepted. Wong said he informed Swiss Minister accordingly.

When reminded of his previous discussions with Embassy officer, and fact he had supplied Embassy with detailed information re Chinese deposits of radio-active minerals, Wong said that time of essence. Embassy officer thereupon told him that United States Government had expressed great interest in regard these minerals and was planning to send qualified geologist soon to China to have further discussions with him and other Chinese Government officials. Asked then what relation there was between reported acceptance Swiss offer and United States interest, Wong made evasive comment, adding, however, that “matters could be arranged”. He indicated that if United States Government were to act quickly there would be no question on Chinese side to give United States preference owing to Sino-U. S. mutuality of interests and American technical competence in this field.

Embassy believes Chinese Government holding off making definite arrangement with Swiss (assuming that Swiss actually made offer) pending receipt indications of more positive interest by United States Government. Embassy recommends that selection of competent American geologist and despatch to China be expedited.