The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China ( Stuart )
Washington , February 9, 1948—1 p.m.
207. You are authorized issue your proposed message to people of China (Embtels 2435 Dec 2251 and 236 Feb 652) with the following revisions:
- First sentence: insert “personal” before message.
- Change first sentence body of message to read: “From President Truman’s statement to Congress you know something of the proposed efforts of the United States to assist the people of China.”
- Para 2, second sentence: insert “earnestly” between Americans and desire.
- Para 2: delete last three sentences beginning “we have no”.
- Para 4, first sentence: delete “their uncompromising ideology and”.
- Para 4, second sentence: insert “groups” after these.
- Para 4, final sentence: insert “far” after interests.
- Para 8: revise to read: “We Americans, under the leadership of Mr. Marshall, did our utmost to prevent the development of the situation which now exists and all the suffering it entails for the Chinese people. Nevertheless, with the traditional friendship between the American and Chinese peoples, and given our belief that the economic well-being of the Chinese people will redound to the benefit of the world, we are proposing, through a program of economic assistance to China, to provide a further opportunity to the Chinese Government and people to take the initial steps toward laying a solid foundation for economic recovery and stability in China.”
- Para 9, first sentence: revise to read: “The real task, the responsibility, however, rests with the Chinese people themselves.”
- Para 9, second sentence: delete “alone” after can.
- Para 10: revise to read: “The meanings of freedom and democracy have been confused by the wholly different interpretations being put upon these terms today. There should be no misunderstanding of these issues. Under a totalitarian system there can be no intellectual freedom—those who attempt to think for themselves either succumb to regimentation or are promptly liquidated. Democracy is government not only for the people but also by the people. In this truly democratic sense the people must, however, continuously bring the weight of enlightened public opinion to bear upon the conduct of government to prevent misuse of power by those in office. This requires, therefore, freedom of debate and publication and free access [Page 473] to news objectively reported. In a totalitarian system these freedoms cannot exist. Instead, news becomes propaganda scientifically developed. It depends for its effects upon unrestrained vituperation and incessant repetition without regard for the truth.”
- Final para: revise to read: “China today is faced with insidious dangers which will require the united effort of all public-spirited citizens to overcome. This calls for clear-sighted vision, a high degree of courage and grim determination. It is hoped that the freedom-loving patriots of China, together with all elements of the population, will join in a constructive evolutionary process that will bring unity and peaceful progress to the entire nation.”
Dept will inform you later when China aid bill is to be presented to Congress so that you may issue statement at same time.53
- Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. vii, p. 1234.↩
- Not printed; it sought a reply to telegram No. 2435 (893.00/2–648).↩
- For text of Ambassador Stuart’s statement issued on February 20, see Department of State, United States Relations With China (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1949), p. 985.↩