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Memorandum for Assistant Chief of Staff,
War Plans Division [Gerow]
January 10, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
The Assistant Secretary of War, Mr. McCloy, had a conference with Mr. T. V. Soong last night.1 Mr. Soong brought up the following points:
The Chinese representative in Sweden, presumably the Ambassador or the Military Attache, reports that the German Government is pressing for permission to pass troops through Sweden against [into] Finland; that the Swedes are not acceding to the proposal; that their troops are moving into prepared positions to resist German passage. He stated that the Swedes had possibly an over-abundance of antiaircraft weapons, plenty of field artillery and small arms, but were in need of aircraft.
Mr. Soong handed Mr. McCloy the attached memorandum. The most important part relates to the allegation against Colonel Twitty in Rangoon. I am certain this is incorrect. However, I think it is important that Colonel St. John be given direct advice from here in the matter, explaining the situation as reported to us.2 The root of the difficulty apparently is the report that there has been “squeeze” in the operation of the Burma Road. Mr. Soong stated that he was constantly in receipt of information, and he would be glad to have a basis for interchange with the War Department.
Mr. McCloy intends to speak to General Lee about this, but I think the War Plans should consider it also.3
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. Soong, the son of a wealthy Shanghai Christian family, was a Harvard University graduate (1915) and an expert on financial matters. Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Bank of China since 1933, he had become China’s foreign minister on December 23, 1941. His sister, Mei-ling, was married to Chiang Kai-shek. McCloy’s memorandum of his conversation with Soong is printed in Foreign Relations, 1942, China, pp. 751-52.
2. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph J. Twitty (U.S.M.A., November 1918), a member of Brigadier General John Magruder’s U.S. Military Mission to China, was stationed in Rangoon and was in charge of lend-lease to China and Burma. In mid-December 1941 he became embroiled in a squabble between Britain and China over the disposition of lend-lease materials in Rangoon, particularly the munitions aboard the S.S. Tulsa. The Chinese accused Twitty of arbitrary action and a resentful and discourteous attitude. As a result of the document printed here, Eisenhower instructed Lieutenant Colonel Adrian St. John, another member of Magruder’s mission in Rangoon, to be especially careful to reflect a cooperative attitude and not to permit the transfer of Chinese lend-lease goods without Chiang Kai-shek’s permission. Twitty was transferred to the ABDA Command; he was promoted to colonel effective February 1, 1942. (Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell’s Mission to China, pp. 5760; Papers of DDE, 1: 44-46.)
3. Brigadier General Raymond E. Lee, former military attaché in London, was to become assistant chief of staff for intelligence (G-2) on February 1, 1942.