Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Butterworth) to the Secretary of State

Reference is made to your telephone conversation of February 1, 1949 with Judge Robert Patterson37 on the subject of a proposed “Eisenhower38 Commission” to China, a suggestion put forth at a recent meeting on China organized by Mr. Fred McKee.39 Judge Patterson indicated that he was bringing this matter to your attention at the specific request of McKee and Clark Eichelberger,40 who also attended the meeting.

FE strongly supports your “unenthusiastic” response to this proposition and believes for the following reasons that it would be highly inadvisable to send any such mission to China at this time: (1) the Department already receives full coverage on the situation in China from our Embassy and Consulates on the spot, as well as from the Departments of the Army and Navy and the C.I.A.;41 (2) during the past three years we have had various missions to China which have, in result, added to rather than lessened this Government’s difficulties; and, more importantly (3) to dispatch such a mission to China at this time would be grossly misleading, not only to the American people but to the Chinese as well, in the face of the present hopeless situation which confronts the National Government of China.

W. W[alton] B[utterworth]
  1. Former Secretary of War.
  2. General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, former Chief of Staff, U.S.A.
  3. Frederick C. McKee, Pittsburgh business executive.
  4. Clark M. Eichelberger, national director of the Association for the United Nations.
  5. Central Intelligence Agency.