STATE DEPARTMENT WANTS TO HELP COMMUNIST CHINA BUILD RAILROADS

STOUT, JONATHAN

Washington and the National State Department Wants to Help Communist China Build Railroads By JONATHAN STOUT New Leader Washington Correspondent AMAJOR CONFLICT is under way between the State...

...Another serious disservice is apparent in the fact that the public controversy appears to be cantered in whether certain individuals are Communists and spies...
...His death renders the whole world poorer...
...Class 1 B is a commercial classification...
...Senator McCarthy appears to be backing down on his charges that Lattimore is or was a Communist and a Soviet agent...
...So far as the facts show, Barnett's attitude and the position of the State Department are the logical consequence of the policies outlined by LatUmore himself and made public last week...
...Invoking the Brussels Pact would serve to block the current Communist strategy of playing the democratic countries against each other economically...
...that even in case of war between us and Russia it is doubtful whether the Far East would become a theatre of operations...
...SuchMen are rare in political life...
...Western Germany and Belgium are competitors in the production of steel rails and other railroad equipment...
...Ambassador to France THE DEATH of Leon Blum removes from the international scene one of my close personal friends who, in the noblest manner, extended his friendship to all humanity...
...No one less resembles the legends that have clustered around his name than Leon Blum...
...Therefore, as soon aa we embargo the shipment of railroad equipment to Soviet China, the other Brussels Pact nations will ako embargo the shipment of railroad equipment to Communist China...
...He is not only an internationalist but also a great patriot...
...The Defense Department position was based on the following considerations: 1. The present inadequate railroad transportation system is one of the greatest deficiencies of the Soviet land mass which runs thousands of miles from Siberia to South China...
...4. As long as the possibility exists, on the basis of the current conflict between the Soviet empire and the democratic world, that the United States may within the foreseeable future find itself at war with the Soviet Union and Soviet China, it would be nothing short of criminal for the United States to permit the Soviet Union and Soviet China to overcome their basic military deficiency in the Far East, the lack of adequate transportation...
...When pretests were made in Western Germany against accepting the rail orders from Soviet China, the German steel producers pointed out that if they did not accept the order the Belgians would...
...In addition to those views, the State Department has taken the further view that Communist China already has signed contracts with suppliers of railroad equipment in Japan and Western Germany and these contracts from a commercial point of view should be honored...
...The reply by Secrteary Acheson expressed willingness to consider this request of the Defense Department, but asked that in the meantime the Defense Department stop interposing objections to the current shipment of railroad equipment to Soviet China...
...and that we should implement such a policy by helping the governments of the Far East "to build their own economies, to revive their trade with Europe, and to expand their trade with us...
...Blum was smiling, as always, and when I asked him why he had come back to Paris, he said that he had left undone certain things which he ought to have done...
...He may have good reason for his pessimistic views on South Korea...
...The Acheson reply raised the point that mass starvation is a possibility in China, and that this is due in great part to the lack of railroad equipment...
...The United States has an agreement with the western European and other democratic nations which have signed the Brussels Pact, under which Brussels Pact nations are committed to place the same embargo on the same items that we do on our Class 1A list...
...As a necessary preliminary to action, Deputy Secretary Early's letter to Acheson and Sawyer asked their agreement to have all railroad equipment put in Class 1A for purposes of export and international trade...
...The Commerce Department is letting the other two departments carry the ball in the controversy...
...He/ Is about 38, Capable and extremely shrewd...
...3. In case of war between the United States and the Soviet Union and China, one of our first military objectives would be to break up and destroy the Soviet transportation system in China and Siberia...
...Whether that pessimism affects his performance on his job is another question...
...The Nazis had been attacking him constantly as a war criminal, and it seemed certain that if he should fall into their hands he would be shot...
...Blum was much larger than any of his acts or writings...
...He is a fervent democrat and he is our friend...
...Thirty-six hours before the Germans marched into Paris, Blum suddenly entered my office in our Embassy...
...Anything in Class 1A can be put on an embargo list whenever the Defense Department believes the item has an important bearing on national defense...
...He knew it...
...In the latter case it is not one order, but a series to be filled at different dates...
...He is a strong supporter in the State Department of the views of Owen Lattimore on the Far East...
...From this interchange, it would seem clear that whereas the Defense Department is mainly concerned with the possibilities of war in the Far East, the State Department is mainly concerned with the possibilities of wooing Soviet China away from Soviet Russia by means of economic apeascment...
...One of those in tlie State Department who appears to be active in his conviction is Robert Barnett, chief economic offlcep-'of the Far Eastern Division...
...No man that I have known could have said with greater truth: "Nothing human is alien to me and my brother's sorrows are my-**"* When lhe was a prisoner of the Nazis jj3.-SucHenW8f& fatKntt friends did not expect to see him again, gome of us published in a book entitled History Will Judge a number of his writings...
...Both want all the business they can get...
...On the point of military potential, Secretary Acheson's reply suggested that the amount of railroad equipment currently scheduled to go to China is too little to be important militarily...
...Deputy Secretary Early sent letters to Secretary Acheson and Secretary Sawyer, with the aim of setting up a world embargo among the democratic nations against the shipment of railroad equipment to Communist China...
...Those are the crimes for which he is being punished today...
...But Class 1A has a further importance...
...In writing this brief preface, I have wished not only to fulfill a debt of friendship, but also to render homage to a man who has been unjustly accused, whose defense will be assured not by any one of his friends but by history...
...Washington and the National State Department Wants to Help Communist China Build Railroads By JONATHAN STOUT New Leader Washington Correspondent AMAJOR CONFLICT is under way between the State Department and the Defense Department over the question whether the United States should help Communist China build up its railroad transportatien system...
...August, in which Lattimore argued "that Japan can keep itself alive by coming to terms, economically and politically, with its neighbors in Asia, principally China...
...Patrie...
...He is a believer...
...lie is not a dilettante...
...That influence was based on a profound love of mankind...
...His horror of civil war was absolute...
...Leon Blum By WILLIAM C. BULLITT Former U.S...
...The latter view parallels the Lattimore thesis in his now-famous memorandum on Far-Eastern policy of last...
...IN THIS STRUGGLE over Far Eastern policy some people in the State Department are just as convinced they are correct as some people in the Defense Department think the military view is correct...
...2. Railroads have a military potential.A good rail system is a military asset...
...Concorde entre les Citoyens...
...The Defense Department believes we should not, the State Department believes we should, help Communist China build up its rail system...
...Rail equipment now is in Class IB...
...In the meantime, attention is actually diverted from a public discussion of the issues on Far Eastern policy as revealed in the interchange of letters among the Defense, State and Commerce Departments...
...that there were papers of the Socialist Party he wished to sava...
...that there was an aged couple he wished to rescue before the Nazi wave swept over Paris...
...But, as he said to me, he could not weaken his country, threatened by the growing menace of Nazi Germany, even though it meant damage to his party and his own loss of power...
...Still another State Department view is that stopping the fulfillment of these contracts would have an undesirable economic effect on the Japanese and German industries which produce railroad equipment...
...The escape route to the South was almost cut...
...This conflict has been revealed in a hitherto unpublished exchange of letters between Secretary of State Acheson, Commerce Secretary Sawyer and Deputy Defense Secretary Stephen T. Early...
...He had returned to the panic-stricken capital from southern France...
...Power, indeed, he always considered a burden to be borne in the public interest, not an advantage to be enjoyed...
...He cared profoundly about his social convictions and his political ideals, but he never sacrificed the vital interests of his country to them...
...Since Japan and part of Western Germany are under American control, it would seem obvious that at least a part of the "official" aproval obtained for these orders involves the approval of Amcrcian officials...
...But the disservice he has done the nation by making charges he has not been able to prove is now apparent in the difficulties honest liberals who arc critical of Lattimore'3 views and the State Department's policies face in stating their criticism, without lending- support to McCarthy's irresponsibilities...
...Like Lattimore, Barnett has on occasion expressed the view that democratic South Korea "can't win" against Communist North Korea...
...He was born in China, has lived there, and has traveled in the Soviet Union...
...The influence of his personality made itself felt not only in France but throughout Europe...
...THIS SITUATION moved the Defense Department to take action...
...Neither can see the sense of making an Individual sacrifice of giving up this business with Communist China, only to see the business go to Hs competitor...
...In 1938, when he was obliged to resign as Prime Minister of France by an adverse vote in the Senate alone, it would have been easy for him to have broken that opposition by merely giving free rein to the rising revolutionary anger of the French people...
...Never did he express it more brilliantly than in his speech at Luna Park which he closed with the words of Victor Hugo: Oh...
...These orders for rail and locomotives apparently have secured all the official approval they need...
...He is a man of indomitable courage...
...that "The success of United States policy in the Far East will be measured largely by the contribution it makes to the recovery of economic relations between the Far East and Europe...
...the total quantity is unknown...
...Secretary Acheson replied he was strongly opposed to the idea...
...And I have found orders for locomotives to go to China from Japan...
...It seemed to the Defense Department, therefore, that only by putting railroad equipment in Class 1A here could this loophole be plugged...
...In this brief tribute to my dead friend I can do no better than to repeat in English what I then wrote in French as a preface to that volume...
...I was shocked...
...He was incapable of pettiness or meanness or revenge...
...that "the aim of the United States policy should be to enable the countries of the Far East to do without Russia to the maximum extent...
...Checking on the known contracts for railroad equipment signed by Communist China, I have found at least one order of 15,000 tons of rails to go to China from Western Germany...
...that "Such a move would increase Chinese dependence on Russia...
...The Defense Department initiated the correspondence...
...The State Department position follows in general the Lattimore recommendations on Far Eastern policy, which hold that "China cannot be economically coerced by such measures as cutting off trade...
...Secretary Sawyer hedged by suggesting an itemized list of railroad parts that could be embargoed instead of a generalized embargo on all railroad equipment...
...All his political acts, often misunderstood, still little known to the world in spite of the revelations at his trial at Riom, testify to his love for his country and for human liberty...
...WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE to the question of railroad equipment raised by Deputy Defense Secretary Barry, Secretary Acheson's reply expressed the opinion that, from the State Department's information on the internal situation in China, the question of railroad equipment is incidental and minor, in itself...
...Class 1A is a potential military classification...
...He is not a weak man...
...If he felt he had a duty to perform, Leon Blum never considered his personal safety or his personal advantage...

Vol. 33 • April 1950 • No. 15


 
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