Memorandum by the Secretary of State44
Subject: Amendment to Summary of Part [June ?] 7 regarding “Assistance to China” in conversation with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Army.
The foregoing statement, though correct in the main, does not make clear two points of importance that I made in the conversations.
I stated that the Department’s recommendation which had just been submitted to me and which endeavored to make a distinction between “advice” and “assistance” was not acceptable to me; that I did not think it necessary—or wise, to issue any instructions of that character which could result in interpretations that would completely subvert the policy we have been following. That policy is for this Government not to become directly involved in the conduct of the war in China. I therefore felt all that was required was to meet the request stated by the Chinese Ambassador in the document I read in the meeting, to place the representatives of the Chinese Government in touch with the officials of the Armed Forces or otherwise who could render them the necessary assistance in making the desired purchases. I did not think we should endeavor to define the exact attitude of the officers so selected. That, I felt, was an unnecessary detail.
In regard to the statements that might be made before the Senate Appropriations Committee, I felt that it was important that the statement of what had already been done in the way of military supplies from surplus should be brought up to date since a great deal had transpired since the previous statements before the Committees of Congress.
- Notation by Brig. Gen. Marshall S. Carter, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State: “Dictated but not read”.↩