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

No. 466

Sir: I. have the honor to report recent conversations with President Chiang Kai-shek and Dr. T. V. Soong.

Dr. Soong had just returned from two harrowing weeks in Shanghai when I saw him on the evening of January 27. He was more discouraged than I had ever found him before. He felt so keenly the need for emergency aid that he was thinking of sending Mr. John Blandford40 to Washington to press for the proposed Canton–Hankow Railway loan and the $100,000,000 cotton credit. He also wanted Mr. Blandford to arrange for civil advisers, to gain first-hand impressions of U. N.41 and American trends, and to have a rest or change of scene.

Messrs. Blandford, Butterworth and I have also been in constant conference over these and related matters. We are all aware of the gravity of the situation but agree that it would be inexpedient for Mr. Blandford to leave China at present.

Dr. Soong called on me the morning of January 31. I explained why we felt as we did about Mr. Blandford’s possible trip and he accepted our judgment without hesitation. But he requested me to inquire as to the possibility of the Canton–Hankow Railway loan and the cotton credit.

President Chiang has expressed the desire that as many of the Executive Headquarters personnel as possible be absorbed into the Army Advisory Group as a further strengthening of military reorganization.

Both President Chiang and Dr. Soong are prepared to establish the State Council and to give it real authority as in effect an ad interim government. The Communist Party seats will be kept vacant, the minority parties urged to come in. These latter are apparently hesitating because of various uncertainties. The intention is to have the State Council composed of the most representative and competent persons available.

Respectfully yours,

J. Leighton Stuart
  1. American financial adviser to the Chinese Government.
  2. United Nations.