Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Deputy Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Benninghoff)

Colonel Sweeney18 telephoned to state that he was assisting in the drafting of a letter from General Peter Mow (Chinese Air Force) in which the latter referred to the creation of the 8⅓Group Program in 1945 stating that it had never been fully implemented, that recent Communist depredations and the conduct of the civil war in China had created new problems not envisaged in 1945, that therefore a reinvestigation of the whole program was necessary and that it would be advisable to set up a new joint board to investigate the whole problem and to come up with an answer within the next two or three months as to what types of aircraft and other material were necessary and could be supplied, etc. etc. Mr. Benninghoff informed Colonel Sweeney that he could not give an off-the-cuff reply.

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After consulting with Mr. Sprouse and Mr. Freeman, Mr. Benninghoff telephoned Colonel Sweeney and suggested that he inform General Mow that there would appear to be no necessity for setting up a new board to study the problem as the AAG in Nanking had already been established to consider these very problems. It was further suggested that the Chinese authorities in Nanking should take up the problem direct with the AAG. Colonel Sweeney appeared to understand the import of these suggestions but said that he was “more or less on the spot” and that the Chinese might insist on writing a letter to the Air Force which in turn would, of course, be referred to the State Department. He inquired whether in that event the State Department’s reply would be along the lines indicated. Mr. Benninghoff stated that he could not give a categorical reply at this time but that the chances were that such would be the State Department’s attitude.

  1. U. S. Air Force.