Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Butterworth) to Brioadier General Marshall S. Carter25

With reference to your query as to what the Department is doing to stop the formation of a revived AVG, the answer is that we are doing nothing at present. As the subject has never been broached either formally or informally to this Government, it would appear best to disregard rumors and press stories on the subject and thus by absence of favorable comment on the scheme imply official disapproval. It is extremely unlikely that General Chennault would attempt to take unilateral action in the matter without first obtaining at least the tacit consent of the Government, for without such consent he could not be assured of receiving continuing supplies and matériel for the operation.

On the other hand, should General Chennault either formally or informally approach the Government for support or consent in the establishment of an AVG, the Department should refuse to extend such support or consent and should take the position that the procedure which was established in a similar situation in Palestine should apply to China; that is, that American citizens participating in such a venture would forfeit American protection and be deprived of their passports.

  1. Special Assistant to the Secretary of State.