893.50 Recovery/10–1448: Telegram

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

1911. At request of Legislative Yuan, Premier Wong Wen-hao and CUSA member Yen Chia-ken appeared before Yuan at semi-closed meeting morning of October 12 for interpellation on US aid program. Following hour and half of speeches by Wong and Yen, numerous legislators spoke another hour and half heatedly criticizing Executive Yuan for past distribution of US aid. In general criticism levelled against allocation of aid to plutocrats and large factory owners, failure of Cabinet to consult with Legislative Yuan on aid distribution, threat to Chinese sovereignty in giving consideration to allowing foreign bottoms to transport relief supplies up inland waterways, neglect of large areas (particularly China’s northwest) in favor of special localities, and slighting of fishing industry in aid allocation.

This marks first occasion Legislative Yuan has directly attacked Government on US aid program, although question has been touched obliquely in previous interpellation periods. Embassy believes this to be no more than passing phase in Legislative Yuan’s constant attempt to check on all activities of government and insistence that it have its say in all matters large and small which concern national welfare. Fact that legislators opinions Government handling of US aid program were entirely critical without one word of commendation for Cabinet is worthy of note but not unusual since it harmonizes with general tenor of legislature sentiment so far this session.

None of criticism was directed at US unless complaint about Government consideration of foreign bottoms on inland waterways might be so construed. Equally, however, we noted absence of any expressions of gratitude or pro-American sentiment during debate on US aid program.