893.50 Recovery/11–1748

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Richard E. Johnson of the Division of Chinese Affairs

Participants: Mr. Meiklejohn72–ECA
Mr. Magill73–CA
Mr. Johnson–CA

Mr. Meiklejohn of ECA was telephoned Tuesday for an explanation of the changes in ECA’s commodity shipment program implied in recent ECA telegrams74 concerning the shipment of coal to Tsingtao and the diversion of funds programmed for fertilizer to finance increased purchases of cereals.

He stated that Mr. Lapham had received a request from ECA representatives in Tsingtao for an emergency shipment of coal. Because Communist military operations were impeding the flow of coal from the Kailan mines, Tsingtao was faced with a power shutdown which would affect installations upon which the U. S. Navy is dependent. [Page 651] Mr. Meiklejohn understands that Mr. Stillman has succeeded in obtaining an advance of 15 thousand tons of coal for Tsingtao from SCAP,75 as reported in telegram Toeca 397 November 11 from Shanghai,76 which would be reimbursed by ECA procurement in the U. S. Mr. Meiklejohn has requested that the ECA Mission prepare an estimate of total emergency coal requirements which ECA might have to meet. He advised us that the coal shipments for Tsingtao presently planned would cost in the neighborhood of $300,000 and that these funds would be taken from reconstruction projects.

Mr. Meiklejohn was asked whether the Mission’s proposal for the diversion of funds from fertilizer for emergency purchases of food would mean a speed-up in the expenditure of China aid funds. He replied that the money would be taken from allocations for the present quarter only, and that no acceleration of the rate of expenditure was involved. He added that ECA Washington is arguing against cancellation of fertilizer and is considering the release of $5 to $10 million from the reconstruction program for emergency procurement of food, et cetera.

Mr. Magill stated that we would appreciate being informed in advance of any action which would have the effect of a substantial speeding up of deliveries.

  1. Norman J. Meiklejohn, member of the ECA China Mission.
  2. Robert N. Magill, of the Division of Chinese Affairs.
  3. Not found in Department files.
  4. Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, Japan.
  5. Not printed.