893.50 Recovery/11–1148: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Caffery )

Gadel 37 452. For Bohlen.38

1. Following is summary my comments on China situation Nov 10 press conference, most of them in reply to questions:

Re reports Chinese Prime Min39 sent tel to President asking immediate [Page 675] aid40 and query whether such tel referred to Dept, I said I did not know. Re present situation, I said I could only support Mr. Hoffman’s comments Nov 841 regarding current operational procedures on aid.

For background use without attribution, I said: It is obvious situation deteriorating very rapidly and problem is grave. US aid, both ECA and military category, relates to aid to Chi Govt. This raises complications indicated by Hoffman and presents problem getting supplies, whether economic or miltary, into hands authorized persons under law. Allocation of $125 million made to Republic of China which means Govt China which we recognize. Chi Govt has complete disposal $125 million. Re limitation if Chi Govt should fall and query whether we could aid warlords or other independent pro-western groups, ECA should be asked re this. Re query whether President and Dept reconsidering policies on broad Chinese question, Dept has taken part in discussions NSC,42 advisory body to President, which also includes military, and reply is “yes”. Re query whether Dept can take steps for increased aid China with any cooperating agencies prior new session Congress, I am not in position deal with this even as background since it would involve conclusions many Govt agencies. NSC has long and frequently considered papers on China and military situation has been under recent review. Re allocations and shipments under $125 million grants, I have no information re shipments but Dept has turned over $100 [million] in accordance with Chinese procurements here. Re NSC recommendations to President, they have been made but I cannot elaborate. Re report published today President shortly after elections telegraphed Washington urging aid be speeded up and immediate action taken, White House will have to be queried re this.

Re statements US has no China policy and query re long-range plan in China, I reiterated that my only comments on China for record would be to support Hoffman’s statement, which only aspect I was at liberty comment on.

2. Following is summary ECA press release Nov 8 covering Hoffman’s statement:

Mr. Hoffman and other ECA officials met with Mr. Lovett today re China aid program questions. ECA continuing aid to China under terms Foreign Assistance Act 194843 and bilateral agreement Jul 3 between Chi and US Govts. Under Act and agreement decisions re allocations and use supplies financed by ECA continue be made jointly [Page 676] by Chi Govt and ECA. Rate shipments previously planned remains same. Commodities being furnished are rice, wheat, flour, cotton, fertilizer and petroleum products. Small special feeding program previously carried on in Mukden now discontinued. Commodity shipments continue accordance program previously laid out to major cities north, central and south China.

3. Following suggested reply possible query re Tsingtao:

Our general position Tsingtao reported lengthily and accurately in press during past 2 years. In brief, at Chi Govt request staff naval experts assigned Chinese Navy training center advise and assist training Chinese personnel to man naval vessels transferred Chi Govt accordance Public Law 512 Jul 1946.44 In addition, Adm Badger, ComNavWesPac,45 maintains flagship and hqs Tsingtao, convenience extended him by Chi Govt which further facilitates work advisory training staff. While training staff and hqs have some housing, office and storage facilities ashore, US has no naval base facilities in usual sense. It is not “US naval base” as sometimes reported.

Re Adm Badger action in various contingencies, suggest reply no more light can be thrown on subject than is implicit in US position Tsingtao, as described above.46

  1. American delegation to the Third Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which convened at Paris on September 21.
  2. Charles E. Bohlen, Counselor of the Department of State and Adviser to the American delegation to this session of the General Assembly.
  3. Wong Wen hao.
  4. For message from Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, President of the Republic of China, see telegram No. Telmar 155, November 12, 8 p.m., p. 201.
  5. For summary, see section numbered 2 in this telegram.
  6. National Security Council.
  7. Approved April 3, 1948; 62 Stat. 137.
  8. Approved July 16, 1946; 60 Stat. 539.
  9. Oscar C. Badger, Commander, U. S. Naval Forces, Western Pacific.
  10. For correspondence regarding Tsingtao, see pp. 307 ff.