893.50 Recovery/2–1748: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China ( Stuart )
Washington , February 17, 1948—7 p.m.
270. Following is guidance for public presentation China aid program:
1. Themes for major emphasis.
- Proposed program is one of economic assistance.
- Imports to be provided, as listed in President’s message,57 are essential to China’s civilian economy, industry and employment.
- Purpose of program is “to provide immediate aid to China to relieve human suffering, to assist in retarding economic deterioration, and to afford the people of China an opportunity to initiate measures of self-help necessary to re-build the bases for more stable economic conditions.” (from draft legislation).
- Proposed program has specific, limited objectives (see C above); it is not a US attempt to solve China’s economic problems. The limitations arise in part from conditions in China (use material in President’s message which describes factors bearing on determination of character and dimensions of program).
- Proposed program will represent another instalment of aid US has been extending China right along, especially since 1942. Present program is thus not a sudden decision to extend aid after long period of no assistance.
- Program is still a proposal to Congress, not an accomplished fact.
- Avoid implying that Chinese measures of self-help are quid pro quo for US assistance.
- Avoid enlarging on expected results. Remember that proposed program is not complete or long-range economic recovery program, is not expected to stabilize currency, end inflation or provide for large scale reconstruction.
- Avoid any implication that US is or should be assuming responsibility for or Underwriting China’s economic recovery, or Chinese Govts military effort.
- Give a fair cross-section of responsible US press and radio comment and editorial opinion.
- Criticism and praise of proposed program by responsible persons whose positions are such that their opinions make news must be carried.
- Carry for the record responsible criticism of program based on fact that it does not provide direct military assistance for Chinese Govt along with comment which stresses magnitude and probable consequences of military commitment US would be making if it undertook to underwrite Chinese Govt’s military efforts. Sent Nanking as 270 repeated Shanghai as 300.
- For text of President Truman’s statement of February 18, see Department of State Bulletin, February 29, 1948, p. 268, or United States Relations With China, p. 981.↩