The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 23—2:31 a. m.]
337. Following is text of United Press Nanking, February 21 story as published in papers in China and presumably US as well:[Page 108]
Ambassador J. Leighton Stuart said today that he believed “the best possible” solution of the China problem was resumption of negotiations between the Nationalists and Communists.
Stuart emphasized that this was his personal point of view and was not necessarily the official State Department attitude.
The Ambassador made the statement during an exclusive interview with the United Press in which he explained the motives behind the issuance of his “message to the Chinese people” 2 days ago.59
Stuart said his hope that negotiations between the Communists and Nationalists might be resumed was one of the motives behind his decision to issue the message, but added this was “not the primary motive”.
In explanation of his “primary motive” Dr. Stuart declared “The message grew out of my conviction that the only hope for democracy in China or any other country is to have a citizenry that realizes its rights and responsibilities. There are many public-spirited people in China who could help the Government to render its best service to the nation if they were able to organize effectively and make articulate the will of the people”.
The Ambassador said the statement was “made on my own initiative but with full approval of the Department”.60
Conceding that it was somewhat unusual for the Ambassador of a foreign nation to appeal directly to the people of a country in which he is stationed, Stuart commented, “In view of the seriousness of the situation in China I have ventured to presume upon the friendly relations I have always had with the Chinese people to point toward what seems to me a thoroughly hopeful solution if the Government and all factions in the country, especially politically conscious non-partisans, organize themselves to find a settlement other than continued military strife”.
Asked whether “all factions” included the Communists, Stuart replied, “it has always seemed to me that certainly the best possible solution would be resumption of negotiations between the Government and Communists looking to a peaceful settlement”.
Queried as to whether his “message to the Chinese people” should be interpreted as an attack on the present Chinese Government, Stuart stated that “it would seem to me wholly unnecessary to state that this is in no sense against the Government but rather to help them accomplish objectives which I have always been fully confident its leaders themselves have been seeking”.