893.50 Recovery/11–1348: Telegram

The ECA Administrator (Hoffman) to the Chief of the ECA China Mission (Lapham)69

Ecato 586. For your info State Dept has made clear to us Dept cannot delegate to Ambassador type discretionary authority to consult and agree on actions which affect present and future political relationship with Chinese authorities, and have diplomatic and political implications in US relationship with other countries, which you apparently assumed Ambassador had in Nanking 212770 as confirmed by Ambassador’s 2115 Nov 6.

In delegating emergency authority believe we must make distinction between (a) authority to operate on matters of type dealt with Ecato 570, on which I wish Mission to have widest latitude possible within authority vested in me as Administrator and (b) matters with far-reaching significance in terms of future US policy on China, and in terms of immediate relationship to Chinese political factions including Communists. This latter type decision exemplified for example by problem maintenance ECA staff North China in event Natl Govt loses control of Peiping–Tientsin corridor (ref para 3 Toeca 287 [387]71 substance of which will be replied to separately). On this second type decision, emergency situation requires more rather than less centralization of policy decision, particularly in view of military and political actions ECA may take and current consideration by Natl Security Council and President of China policy as a whole.
As situation develops, I am relying on you to keep me currently up to date on developments, their ECA implications, and all matters that may affect US policy.
  1. Telegram repeated to the Ambassador in China.
  2. November 7, 10 a.m., p. 645.
  3. Not printed. The symbol “Toeca” was used by the ECA to identify telegrams sent by its field establishments to its Headquarters Office.