The Ambassadorship of Major General
Patrick J. Hurley, 1944-1945
Major General Patrick J. Hurley was appointed Personal Representative of the President to China on August 18, 1944. He arrived in Chungking on September 6, 1944. Mr. Clarence E. Gauss resigned as Ambassador to China on November 1, 1944, and General Hurley was nominated for the position on November 30, 1944. He presented his credentials on January 8, 1945.
To understand the reasons for the mission of General Hurley to China it is necessary to take into account the conditions which existed internally in China in 1943 and 1944. As indicated above, the Chinese record of opposition to Japanese aggression had been a distinguished and enviable one which commanded the admiration and sympathy of all peoples throughout the world who were opposing aggression. By 1943, however, the devitalizing effects of six years of war were beginning to make themselves felt. This trend in 1944 became pronounced to an alarming degree.
The long years of war were taking a heavy economic toll. Many of the most productive areas of China had been occupied by Japan. Inflation began to set in and the new Chinese middle class which had been the backbone of Kuomintang liberalism found itself being progressively beggarized. In this situation the extreme right wing and reactionary elements in the Kuomintang came to exercise increasing power and authority. The regular and periodic political reports of the Embassy in Chungking indicated a steady deterioration in the economic situation and a growing paralysis within the governmental administrative hierarchy. It was symptomatic that the Embassy reported that the Twelfth Plenary Session of the Fifth Kuomintang