893.50 Recovery/11–2648: Telegram

The Consul General at Peiping (Clubb) to the Secretary of State

488. Re Deptel November 13, 8 p.m.80 Would tentatively suggest for consideration Department that ECA program North China should be continued after hypothetical Communist occupation this area in so far as concerns food and medical supplies, to such degree as may be necessitated by needs of population in so far as compatible with original allocations. Despatch follows.81

Observe indications are that actual needs population for both categories relief supplies would continue in some degree after such occupation since (1) North China normally experiences certain food deficit which can be made up only by import flour and grain supplies, and (2) major part medical supplies are ordinarily imported and Communists are notoriously short of such supplies.

Proposal based upon following considerations: 1, it is believed continued food supply to local population in need which population would not have changed fundamentally in character by bare fact of political turnover would be outwardly called off [for] on humanitarian grounds; 2, from political standpoint continuation such supply would indicate ECA program was at least in part designed to alleviate sufferings Chinese people as whole and was to that degree non-political thus giving American policies point of support in North China which might prove of considerable value. It is, of course, assumed ECA economic projects designed to effect rehabilitation and strengthening of economy this area would properly be discontinued pending reassessment postulated new developments.

Sent Department, repeated Nanking 722.

  1. Ecato 587, not printed; it indicated the view of ECA that “in event Communist takeover believe all ECA personnel should be removed except to extent strictly necessary to protect ECA supplies then on hand Tientsin.” (Nanking Embassy Files, Lot 55 F 174–800 China Aid)
  2. Despatch No. 157, November 24, supra.