893.00/1–1248: Telegram

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

52. For your confidential info final decisions re China aid program have not yet been made by Secretary and thereafter proposed legislation will have to be reviewed by National Advisory Council and submitted to Bureau Budget before it is presented Congress. Accordingly it is not possible to send Emb at this stage authoritative info. It is suggested that pressure on part Chinese for details program (urtel 10 Jan 3, 10 a.m.) can be met by indicating Congress prior rights in receiving such a message from President. A tel containing sufficient data will of course be sent you for communication personally to Gimo and FonMin23a a day or so before public presentation.

[Page 454]

Question appointment technicians in connection with implementing aid program will form part of proposed legislation and no definitive action can be taken until at least attitude of Congress manifests itself. Incidentally it is not clear how Gimo’s request for a “supreme economic adviser” and his suggestion of Blandford23b for that position (urtel 2241 Nov 15, 8 a.m.24) jibes with his memo (urtel 2437 Dec 22, 11 a.m.25) in which it is stated that ChiGovt wishes to employ its own American or foreign technicians. No doubt US will have to send to China additional personnel to act in a supervisory and advisory capacity in connection with aid program but these may well be very limited in number due to unavailability of experienced personnel. There are however two obvious and serious disadvantages to appointment of a “supreme economic adviser”: First, there is basic question of how effective under present circumstances in China he can be and secondly, and more important, the strong implication that his presence would carry of continuing US responsibility for economic, financial and governmental situation in China, a responsibility which US cannot assume and which China and other countries must not be misled to believe has been or is going to be assumed.

This is no less applicable to the civil war. Consequently, activities Military Advisory Group26 must be carefully delimited and they are not regarded as constituting an integral part of aid program which is essentially economic in character. It is expected that decisions re certain changes in Military Advisory Group’s directives and what additional military training centers can be appropriately authorized will be made before Gen Barr’s27 departure.

Importance of considerations set forth above is reinforced by certain current indications that elements in ChiGovt are looking more to external assistance than to their own exertions in meeting China’s problems and seem to be directing their efforts towards shifting to US responsibility for conduct and course of civil war, welfare Chinese people and efficacy regime.

  1. Minister for Foreign Affairs Wang Snih-chieh.
  2. John B. Blandford, American financial adviser to the Chinese Government, 1946–47.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. vii, p. 1219.
  4. Ibid., p. 1237.
  5. For correspondence on this subject, see pp. 239270, passim.
  6. Maj. Gen. David G. Barr, who assumed the duties of Chief of the Army Advisory Group (AAG) in China on February 1, 1948.