893.49/8–2554: Telegram

No. 272
The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China1


137. Tousfo 232.2 Decision taken that this Government will not now support Chinese Government flood relief offer of food to Communist China. Generally agreed here that if any offer were to be made proposal outlined your Tousfo 232 would be preferable any alternative which has been considered. However with passage time and increasingly clear intention Chinese Communists on prestige grounds refuse any offer possibility holding out offer as serious one capable useful exploitation has greatly diminished. Later reconsideration possible in changed circumstances. Inform Brent FOA concurs.

Your 133.3 Direct US offer assistance ruled out as inconsistent with our policy economic pressures against Communist China. Offer in name US could not be reconciled with firm US international stand against aggressor regime and known fact that regime uses food as weapon consolidate its internal position, attempt divide free world, and obtain strategic materials. Generally recognized relief food if accepted would be distributed by Chinese Communists themselves and would serve their own ends rather than humanitarian purposes. Direct US offer even though refused would confuse economic defense issue and would tend encourage other countries already anxious for more trade with Communist China press for further relaxation economic control against Communist China.

  1. Drafted Sept. 2; repeated to Tokyo with instructions to repeat to CINCFE for Hull.
  2. Not printed. It recommended that the United States assist the Chinese National Government in making a food offer to flood victims in Communist China in its own name.
  3. Telegram 133, Aug. 25, reported on a conversation with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Shen Chang-huan concerning Chinese Nationalist plans to offer aid to flood victims. Shen had asked whether the United States planned to offer such aid. (893.49/8–2554)