No. 141
Memorandum for the Files, by the Director of the Office of Chinese Affairs (McConaughy)


  • Notes on General Chiang Ching-kuo’s Call on Secretary of State Dulles—October 1, 1953.
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General Chiang Ching-kuo called on the Secretary on the afternoon of October 1, accompanied by Ambassador Wellington Koo and Sampson Shen. The Secretary greeted General Chiang Chingkuo cordially. General Chiang Ching-kuo spoke feelingly of the hospitality accorded him and of his many enlightening experiences and observations which had given him a new and comprehensive picture of various aspects of life in the United States. Secretary Dulles responded in a sympathetic vein, showing familiarity in a general way with the tour of the General.

General Chiang Ching-kuo, starting with a general remark on the need for a pooling of U.S. and Chinese efforts in the common struggle against Communist imperialism, mentioned the importance to China of the U.S. military and economic assistance program. He expressed his own gratitude and that of the Generalissimo for this generous aid and gave an assurance that it would all be well used. He then mentioned the extra burden put on the economy of Formosa by the support requirements of the rapidly growing military establishment. He said that his country appreciated the understanding of leaders in this country of the fact that maintenance of increased military resources put an added load on the Governmental budget and on the economy of the country. He said that his country was gratified that the last session of the U.S. Congress had generously increased the appropriation for military assistance and for economic aid by a substantial percentage. He said that it was very important that the appropriation for “common use” items be increased by the same percentage, since many items necessary for support of the swollen military program could not be financed except through the common use program.

When the Secretary asked for an example, he cited the need for new and better airfields with longer runways, and service facilities and fuel for the jet aircraft now being supplied by the U.S. He also mentioned the need for increasing the economic assistance program from $70 million to $81.2 million.

The Secretary said that these were technical matters, with the details of which he was not conversant. However, he was sure that Mr. Stassen of FOA and other officials concerned, including those in the Department of Defense, would give careful and sympathetic consideration to the requirements. He mentioned smilingly that we were getting the same sort of appeal from other countries. They all seemed meritorious and the problem was to parcel out the limited available total funds in the fairest way and so as to get the maximum overall results.

The Secretary said he hoped it was evident that the attitude of this Administration toward China was different from that of the preceding Administration. The General made no direct reply.

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General Chiang Ching-kuo said that he and others had already had useful talks with Mr. Stassen, General Stewart,1 and others who had said that Chinese requirements would receive full and sympathetic consideration.

The Secretary then said that he had heard from some of our representatives that the General was “a little rough” in his methods.

This remark was not translated by the interpretor, and there was a brief silence.

The Secretary then reiterated that he had heard that the General was “a little rough” in his handling of security matters. He said he hoped that the General would learn from his observations in this country that it was possible to accomplish what was necessary “without being so rough”. He thought the General would find out that we had been able to cope with problems of subversion, disloyalty and security without infringing on basic human rights and without denials of due process of law to suspects. He hoped that the General would see how we are accomplishing this and would consider the adaptability of these methods to the circumstances in his own country.

Shen translated this remark, and General Chiang Ching-kuo murmured an inaudible acknowledgement.

Ambassador Koo remarked that members of the Chinese community in San Francisco, New York and Washington probably had heard some stories about the sternness of General Chiang Chingkuo, but they had all been completely won over at the Chinese dinners given for the General by his personal warmth, geniality, frankness and his genuine and friendly concern for their welfare. They had obtained quite a different impression from the preconceived one.

The Secretary called in photographers who were waiting, and a number of pictures were taken. The poses were friendly and informal.

  1. Maj. Gen. George C. Stewart, Director of the Office of Military Assistance, Department of Defense.