Testimony of Owen Lattimore before Senate Subcommittee to Investigate
Internal Security, February 28, 1952. Senators present:
Pat McCarran (D-Nev.l. Chairman
Herbert R. O'Conor (D-Md.l
Willis Smith (D-N.C.l
Homer Ferguson (R-Mi'ch.l
Wm. E. Jenner (R-lnd.l
Arthur V. Watkins (R-Utah)
7 < CHINA LOBBY
I.Senator O'Conor presiding)
Sen. Ferguson: Would you name the
\In. Lattimore: The China Lobby.
Senator, is, I think, something that has
been characterized, in a political rather
lhan legal use of terminology, as an
Sen. FERGUSON: I understood yesterday you did not know what a conspiracy' "ei~.
Mr. Lattimore: Thai is why I sniel
this morning, "in political rather than
legal terminology." I don't know whal
a conspiracy is in legal terminology.
Sen. Ferguson: Do you know what it
Mr. Lattimore: The expression
"open conspiracy" is one thai is fairly
frequent in the writing of political
Sen. Ferguson: When is It? When is
an "open conspiracy." politically?
Mk. Lattimore: I was jusl trying to
get to that. Senator. An open conspiracy
may be said to exist when people who
are leagued together, not as members
of an organization bill because they
have a common purpose, do not claim
to be a membership organization but
openly slate what their objectives are
and openly advertise their sympathies
with each other, and quote each other s
opinions and works, and so forth.
Sen. Ferguson: Would you give us
the common purpose of lhe China
Mr. Lattimore: The common purpose of the China Lobby is to make
support of the driftwood governmenl on
the beaches of Formosa a primary ob-
jective of American foreign policy, subordinating other questions of policy
In the consideration of all-out aid to
Chiang Kai-shek: the activation of a
campaign, based on Formosa, for the
recovery of the mainland, and so forth.
Sen. Fercuson: As I understand it.
then, you speak of the Nationalist government as the "driftwood" government?
Mr. Lattimore: I think thai thai is
a fair circumstantial characterization.
Sen. Ferguson: You once worked
for Chiang Kai-shek.
Mr. Lattimore: It was not a driftwood governmenl al thai time. I worked
for Chiang Kai-shek and I did the bi'sl
I could for him.
Sen. Ferguson: Did you kno« thai
the Communist line changed in Julv of
1943, and that vour magazine carried
the change of the parly line, as far as
Chiang Kai-shek's government was concerned?
Mn. Lattimore: Senator, in the
Tydings hearings, it was repeatedly as-
The Chairman: The question is:
Did vou know ii? That can be answered
"yes" or "no."
of it as
Mn. Lattimore: Ye
Sin. Ferguson: Now, when did you
change against the Nationalist government, againsl what vmi called the "driftwood government"?
Mr. Lattimore: I. Senator, did not
change against any government. I would
find it hard to document my answer
lure exactly, but I think about 19—oh.
by the end of the war, I had grave
doubts whether the Nationalist governmenl could siir\ive a civil wen: anil bv
1947 I was sure that they couldn't win
a civil war; and I think by about 1948
I whs convinced they were going lo lose
the civil war.
Sen. Ferguson: Do you know now
thai your own government, lhe 1 nited
States government, is supporting whal
vou class as the' "driftwood" government ?
Mu. Lattimore: I ilo. and I ihink it
is a mistaken policy.
Sin. Ferguson: Ami you arc challenging lhe opinion and lhe honesty of
pee,pie- w lio vou cleiim are assembled
together as the China Lobby, who are
supporting lhe very thing lhal their
governmenl i~ supporting, thai is. the
Nationalist governmenl of China; is
thai not a fact?
—Wide World Photo
Mn. Lattimore: Mo, sir. nol exactlyi
I am maintaining my own opinion as an
expert, so far as I am an expert, lhal the
government on Formosa is nol viable
for a long period. I think any policy
based on lhal assumption i- a mistake"
policy thai will lead us eventually it'1"
great difficulties. You have said thai '
nave challenged the good faith
pression lhal I
i on are- using an i'v
have been hearing ""
eunl on .Mi since I have been here, >0'
the lasl year and a half, and you tt&
"victims of the China Lobby." And I
lia\c never yet been able to get anybodj
to identify the China Lobby. Who arc
the personnel of the China Lobby, no*
would you mind telling me. nol only l°r
pasi understanding bul also for futuf*
guidance? Who are the China Lobby-
Mn. Lattimore: Senator, your 'i'"'".
lion follows on from a question ei-^''1
me by Senator Ferguson a moment "r"'
However, I will do my best io ampin)
As I say, I believe ii is a rather am°r'
phous body, an open conspiracy nil'"!
than a tight membership organization-
believe liieil one mighl say that il ""'
sists partly of professional or aineiH'"
lobbyists in the usual sense; thai il " _
mercenaries, and lhal il also has "'"'
sional allies, sort of guerrilla troOK
skirmishing around the fringe: -'
therefore, if one names any one
the China Lobby in exactly
sense as another person. Hui
i, Pag' '"'
FACTS FORUM NEWS, May, 1,S