893.50 Recovery/12–948: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Douglas) to the Secretary of State

5174. From Dickover.62

Discussed China situation with Dening63 who stated Chinese Ambassador64 urged Bevin65 recently to use British influence with US to have more aid sent to China. Foreign Office opinion, however, is that no amount of aid which it would be possible to send China [Page 684] now would alter situation appreciably as rot in Nationalist Government too deep. Western powers now must face fact that any government emerging from present chaos in China will be entirely Communist or will be coalition which will soon be dominated by Communists. Foreign Office, however, believes foreigners can continue do business with such government. Many holes in Chinese economy (for example, shortages of rice, cotton goods and petroleum) which Communists even with Soviet help cannot fill. Therefore must rely on good will of Western powers. For this reason Communists probably will not disturb foreigners or foreign properties at least for present. Main thing at present is to keep foot in door and consequently Foreign Office will retain British diplomatic and consular officers at posts and is not urging essential British businessmen to leave.
Foreign Office study on above subject plus section on SEA66 will probably be sent Washington next week for delivery Department.67 [Dickover.]
  1. Erie R. Dickover, Counselor of Embassy in the United Kingdom.
  2. Sir Maberly E. Dening, British Assistant Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Cheng Tien-hsi.
  4. Ernest Bevin, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  5. Presumably Southeast Asia.
  6. British study not received until January 5, 1949.