Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

Participants: Dr. S. C. Wang and Mr. William Youngman of the Chinese Supply Commission
Secretary Marshall
Mr. Ringwalt, CA85

Dr. Wang handed me the attached “Memorandum for Secretary of State Marshall” dated February 17, 194786 and in the conversation which followed he made an impassioned and somewhat disjointed appeal for early economic assistance to China. He asked for quick action for emergency cotton and food credits. He stated that China had only enough cotton to last until summer and that in view of the very substantial allocations of wheat for Europe we might spare at least 50,000 tons of wheat as a first installment for China. He expressed particular concern over the slowness with which the various approved programs for assistance to China were moving and made special reference to the $500,000,000 Export-Import Bank fund tentatively earmarked for China last spring.87 He asked that China be given a certain flexibility in connection with loan operations similar to that currently enjoyed by the French. I informed Dr. Wang that whereas I had exerted my every effort to expedite action by the Export-Import Bank last spring the Chinese themselves must accept responsibility for their failure to agree to the terms offered them at that time, that as he was well aware I had continued to press for certain project loans, but that I obviously could not control the activities [Page 1071] of the Bank. I then pointedly told Dr. Wang that notwithstanding my continued and patient efforts throughout the period of my mission in China the intransigent clique surrounding the Generalissimo was still in authority and had been able to defeat my every recommendation. I indicated that so long as this clique remained in power it would be very difficult to arrange for American assistance to China in the amount and along the lines suggested in Dr. Wang’s memorandum.

The interview began at 2:30 p.m. and lasted until 3:15 p.m.

  1. Arthur R. Ringwalt, Chief of the Division of Chinese Affairs.
  2. Supra.
  3. The Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank formally approved the fund, April 9, 1946.