Original Repository: Rockefeller Archive Center. Rockefeller Foundation Archives
Reproduced with permission of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Postwar Work and Retirement, 1945-1956
Letter from Raymond Fosdick to Walter W. Stewart (July 1, 1946)
Tuesday June 11 1946
Chinese Medical Commission
A month ago we were getting out of San Francisco. We have certainly seen a lot since then. We keep in first rate health
despite luncheons and Chinese dinner parties without a break. Loucks and Burwell make agreeable as well as competent workers.
I have been keeping Loucks in mind as a possible Vice Director[?] and I've seen nothing to qualify an increasing respect
for his cautious common sense and devotion to the Chinese--and theirs to him. He is not a brilliant speaker but his sincerity
and surefootedness and unselfishness have built him excellent relations with all the Chinese we have seen thus far. Burwell
makes his first visit to China and also sees a school markedly different from what he has known before but he is getting hold
of the variations and the novelties and the complications very competently.
The situation unrolls itself bit by bit, I hope, in my diary. Most if not all the economic confusion depends directly upon
the political situation. But that does not prevent the economic strains from making the political situation even worse.
The PUMC buildings offer unmatched advantages to the most important group of politicians in China in work where comfort and
efficiency contribute more helpfully to patience and good temper in negotiation than ever the persons involved realize. But
they are certainly grateful. There is no doubt of the value of the PUMC's performance in the past but I think we all
agree that its relations with the other medical schools in China need considerable change. Nothing worries me as much as
the feeling that the Trustees will be reluctant to turn over a large amount of money to the C.M.B. and that without a large
amount of money the tie with the Foundation cannot be cut effectively. Living costs will go down when
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peace restores railway communications, export, manufacturing and general confidence. The status of American institutions
could hardly be better. I never realized how impressive is the list of events which give the Chinese confidence in us: John
Hay's reluctance on the subject of extra territoriality, Theodore Roosevelt's initiative in returning the Boxer Indemnity,
the maintenance of the best colleges and schools from American organizations, the freeing of the Philippines, the beating
of Japan and forcing the Japanese to get out of China. We don't have to worry about Govt. interference in the PUMC but
we do have to worry about political peace because I don't believe that the Americans here around Marshall are going to
be patient for an indefinite period while the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist leaders who have been fighting for power
since 1926 continue to quarrel over something that is not the welfare of China. The PUMC can work under any government that
has a decent dollar exchange rate eventually: it has had a favorable rate in the past but to try to open the school in 1946
September would have been foolish in many different ways, but mostly the economic. One of the reasons I decided to go into
Communist territory for a few days next week is that it intimates that we have an open mind and are looking for evidence as
to what kind of government has the medical welfare at heart. It will be good insurance against future possibilities. Leighton
Stuart does not believe that Moscow controls the Chinese Communists. One hears from all Americans who have been in Communist
territory of the honesty loyalty and good discipline there but how long would it survive prosperity and power?
I could write a long letter on the extraordinary performance
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of the PUMC as tested by the war. I am more convinced of it than I expected to be. We are still making the assumption that
a case has to be made from the ground up for anything we recommend. But I can't escape the realization that if we were
to close the PUMC completely we could start no other undertaking in China free from the distrust and forfeited confidence
which would attach to the Rockefeller name as a result. Nor could any completely new program be started without large expense
and the prospect of long investment before returns would come in that would compare with the trained personnel, the equipment,
the influence and good will of the effort stated 25 years ago. The probability that the Govt will arrange for the Japanese
Hospital and Club property to become property of the PUMC must be counted as a valuable contribution of the Chinese to the
school. It could not come from a hostile or ever a cool attitude. This is the first time China has ever won a war outright
and yet only thanks to the U.S. has China been able to expect the Japanese defeated though they may be.
The situation proves very complicated and intricate. We have to accept a schedule of luncheons and dinners that is incessant
and get around almost as many exotic dishes as unusual problems. This note cannot possibly contain all that is offered as
or even what we are absorbing. But it is a visit certainly worth making and with this I think you will agree when we return.