893.50 Recovery/8–2949

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy Under Secretary of State (Rusk)

Participants: Dr. Kan Chieh-hou, Personal Representative of Acting President Li Tsung-jen
Mr. Rusk, Deputy Under Secretary
Mr. Sprouse, CA

Dr. Kan called today by appointment to present, on instructions from Acting President Li Tsung-jen, an appeal for additional [Page 717] aid for China. He first expressed his general concurrence and that of the Acting President with the White Paper and pointed out that it did not in their opinion mean that the United States had washed its hands of China. He stressed that the Acting President was encouraged by the indication that the U.S. Government would continue to aid those democratic elements opposing communism in China. Dr. Kan then said that he had received a letter and a telegram from the Acting President in which the latter had instructed Dr. Kan to make a request along the following lines: (1) The U.S. Government should extend aid to China under the direction of a supervisory board and establish any conditions it might wish to govern the distribution of its economic and military assistance. The Chinese Government would welcome such supervision. (2) The Chinese Government would not consider as interference in Chinese internal affairs any action by the U.S. Government to aid local or regional groups or any supervision considered desirable by the U.S. Government. (3) The Acting President requested that China be designated by name in any military assistance program established for the Far East.

In reply to Mr. Rusk’s query, Dr. Kan explained that the principal needs of the Chinese Government were small arms and ammunition and money with which to pay the troops. He described the effective resistance which General Pai Chung-hsi’s troops were making against the Communist forces in south China, even though General Pai’s armies were outnumbered, and said that this resistance had demonstrated the capability of the Chinese armies. He was bitter in his characterization of the Generalissimo and asserted that the latter had not made available to General Pai any of the arms and ammunition purchased under the $125 million grants authorized by the China Aid Act50 although he had transferred small amounts of old materiel from Formosa for armies under the control of the Acting President and General Pai.

Dr. Kan concluded that he did not wish to bother the Secretary but he would appreciate the Acting President’s request for assistance being brought to the attention of the Secretary. Mr. Rusk gave Dr. Kan an explanation of the Department’s views regarding the military assistance legislation under consideration in the Congress and assured him that Acting President Li’s request would be brought to the Secretary’s attention.

D[ean] R[usk]
  1. For correspondence on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. viii, pp. 73 ff., and ante, pp. 610 ff., passim.