The Institute of Pacific Relations and the Betrayal of China


The Senate Testimony of Alfred Kohlberg


Before there was Senator Joe McCarthy, accusing Harry Truman’s State Department of being laced with Communists, there was businessman Alfred Kohlberg.  Kohlberg, with decades of experience in China where he employed scores of Chinese women to make embroidered handkerchiefs for the U.S. market, lacked the knowledge that McCarthy had gained from FBI reports on Communist infiltration of the government.  What he did have, though, was direct experience with the private organization that wielded very great influence upon the U. S. government and its policy toward China.  That is the Institute of Pacific Relations [IPR], of which he was a dues-paying member for many years.


Kohlberg and McCarthy had never met until Kohlberg responded to his first correspondence from McCarthy and came to Washington “about March 23 or 24, 1950,” some six weeks after McCarthy made his famous speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, accusing the State Department of harboring Communists.  Their common concern was not the popular fanciful one that the country was about to be taken over by Communists.  Rather, it was the conviction that China had been “sold out” to the Communists, and that the sell-out had come about largely because of the undue influence of people both inside and outside the government who were conscious—and often paid—agents of the international Communist conspiracy.


The vilification that has rained down upon McCarthy through the years is well known.  Kohlberg has mainly disappeared from the pages of history, but when he was in the public eye, the treatment he received from the mainstream press was not a great deal better than the treatment received by McCarthy.  He was painted as the manipulative and somewhat sinister man behind the scenes—and perhaps the chief financier—of the supposedly powerful “China Lobby,” the group representing the interests of the “deposed tyrant,” Chiang Kai-shek and his many minions in this country.  In this 1952 testimony* before the McCarran Committee, ignored by the American press at the time and, for the most part, by historians ever since, Kohlberg tells his side of the story:

Alfred Kohlberg, being duly sworn, deposes and says:


That I reside in New York, my office address being 1 West 37th Street, New York 18, N. Y.


That Professor Owen Lattimore referred to me three times in his statement read to the subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate, generally referred to as the McCarran Committee. That in addition Professor Lattimore referred to me several times in his verbal testimony; that I was likewise referred to numerous times by other witnesses before the McCarran Committee; also by Professor Lattimore and other witnesses before the Tydings Committee in March, April, May and June 1950; also by Senators Morse and McMahon during the Joint Committee hearings on the dismissal of General MacArthur; and on the floor of the Senate by Senators Lehman, Connally and others. 


That beginning in April and May 1950, after Professor Lattimore's statements to the Tydings Committee, articles and editorials appeared in the Washington Post, St. Louis Dispatch, New York Post, New York Compass, New York Daily Worker, New York Times, The Nation (a weekly), the New Republic (a weekly). That I was mentioned 17 times in Owen Lattimore's book "Ordeal by Slander."


That the testimony and articles stated that I was the "China Lobby," that I was the "man behind McCarthy;" that "McCarthy's charges were nothing but a rehash of the irresponsible charges of Kohlberg;" that I was probably secretly in the pay of the Nationalist Government of Chiang Kai-shek; that I had connections with a so-called Christian-front, with fascists, with anti-semites; and an editorial in the Washington Post entitled "Kohlberg's Klan" suggested further disreputable connections.


That I have written evidence that in April 1950 one, Robert W. Barnett, formerly Secretary of the Institute of Pacific Relations, and in 1950 Chief of the Economic Section of the Far Eastern Division of the State Department, advised certain reporters of the above alleged facts about me and further advised them that more details could be obtained from an organization in New York called The Friends of Democracy, headed by Rev. Leon Birkhead; and that Friends of Democracy had prepared a three page statement entitled "The Case Against Alfred KohIberg."


That the facts concerning my interest and activities in opposing Communism, and opposing the Chinese Communists, are as follows:


I have been engaged in the import textile business for more than 35 years, having offices and agents at various times in China, Japan, Iran, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. At no time have I ever done any business with or had any financial transactions of any character with the Government of the United States or any foreign Government, or any subsidiary thereof (with two exceptions), except for the payment of customs dues and taxes. When I refer to any business or financial transactions, I include myself personally and any and all corporations with which I have been actively connected.  The exceptions referred to above were (1) a period of 2 or 3 years during which one of my corporations acted as agent for the Amtorg Trading Corp. for Russian linens in the late 20's or early 30's; and (2) the purchase of some surplus navy jackets, after V-J Day, from the United States Government.


During these more than 35 years in foreign trade, I came to understand the wisdom of the now-abandoned Monroe Doctrine and the Open Door Policy. The Monroe Doctrine was designed to prevent the possibility of the building up of a European empire on this continent, with its resulting constant threat to our security. The Open Door Policy was designed to prevent any military empire from adding to its power the resources and manpower of the Chinese Empire, with a resulting threat to our security in the Pacific.


Therefore when Japan began her all-out war on China in 1937, I contributed to relief work and addressed some open letters to Congress on America's interest, as I saw it. At the beginning of that war I learned that the Soviet Union extended aid in military supplies and a Russian-manned airforce to the Republic of China. Being in China in the summer of 1938, I learned that the Soviets had ceased their aid and that Russia had reached agreement with Germany and Japan.  This agreement, which was finally made public as the Hitler-Stalin Pact of Aug. 23, 1939, I reported in an interview in the New York Times of Nov. 25, 1938. During the course of said interview I stated, and the New York Times reported, that Russia, Germany, and Japan had arrived at an agreement by which Russia "either joined the German-Japanese alliance, or, if she did not go so far, made peace with Japan and Germany. The arrangement called for cooperation with Russia by Japan and Germany rather than antagonism, and provided for withdrawal of Russian support to Chinese forces."


After the war started in Europe the following year, and after the replacement of Neville Chamberlain by Winston Churchill convinced me that Britain would really fight the Hitler-Stalin-Japanese alliance, being a licensed airplane pilot, I went to Canada in May 1940 to volunteer, but was rejected because of age.


The following month, after the fall of France, I wrote to Wing Commander Homer Smith of the Royal Canadian Air Force, offering to volunteer, with my airplane, to fly a suicide mission into any German objective selected by them. On July 2, 1940, Air Marshal W. A. Bishop wrote me "Wing Commander Smith has shown me your letter and I wanted to take this opportunity of telling you how much we appreciate your offer of service, and the offer of your machine. At the moment, however, the age limit makes it impossible for us to accept your services, but should this at a later date change, I will get in touch with you."


Thereafter I volunteered to fly a similar suicide mission for the Australians, the British, and the Chinese; but was refused.


Finally, after Pearl Harbor on December 9, 1941, I wrote Artemus Gates, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, stating in part:


"In May 1940 I volunteered for the R.C.A.F. at Ottawa but was turned down on account of age. In July 1940 I volunteered to fly any old trainer loaded with explosives into a troop transport, warship or any other objective. This offer was refused. In April 1941 I repeated this offer. This last offer is still being considered, but the Air Attaché of the British Embassy in Washington still has no final decision from London, but is not hopeful of a favorable answer, as the regulations provide for no such service."


"I now make this offer to you *** Can you use me? Rank and pay are no object, but I would like two weeks to wind up my affairs.  This letter, of course, is strictly confidential."


On Jan. 8, 1942, Mr. Gates wrote:


"I have your offer very much in mind, in fact, I have not been able to forget it since you wrote me early in December, but to date I just don't know where such 100 percent unselfish services can be used.  Perhaps the opportunity will develop but I think our battle on the Pacific is going to be a long war.


"Incidentally, a number of officers in the Bureau of Aeronautics have been acquainted with your sacrifice."


Failing to obtain such a commission, I finally served with the Civil Air Patrol in the antisubmarine patrol in the Gulf of Mexico in the latter part of 1942, and hold Certificate of Honorable Service of the Department of the Air Force.


I refer to this service and attempted service as an answer to charges and implied charges, referred to above, that I was a Fascist or sympathetic to fascist-minded groups, with none of whom have I ever had any association whatsoever.


Meantime I had become a Director and in 1941 Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the American Bureau for Medical Aid to China [ABMAC]. In the Spring of 1943 ABMAC and United China Relief [UCR], of which it had become a part, received unfavorable reports from their staff men in Chungking about graft and incompetency in the Chinese Army medical services, which we were aiding. Mr. E. C. Carter, of the IPR, had become head of the United China Relief Committee that allocated funds to the various agencies in China, and had recommended for appointment most of the employees of United China Relief.


I flew to China in June 1943 at my own expense to investigate. Shortly before leaving for China, Mr. Lauchlin Currie phoned New York and asked me to see him before going, in his offices in the State Department. He told me at considerable length of reports being received from China, of incompetence, corruption and the inability and lack of will on the part of the Chinese to fight. He told me I could check with Americans in Chungking, and that he would be pleased to hear my impressions on returning. On arrival in China Dwight Edwards, head of UCR there, Dr. George Bachman, head of ABMAC, and various other Americans including some in our Embassy confirmed the reports of corruption and incompetence.


As none of them had been in the field, I asked their sources, which they protested were confidential. I therefore felt it necessary to check in the field, which I did against their advice. After traveling through five provinces by truck, ambulance, rail, air and horseback, including 8 days in the 6th War Area, I found the itemized charges either completely untrue or greatly exaggerated.


On returning to America I complained to Dr. Stanley Hornbeck, Political Adviser to the Secretary of State on the Far East, and Joseph Ballantine, Director Far Eastern Division of the State Department, in a lengthy interview. I protested that the untruths were making Chinese-American cooperation difficult, if not impossible, with resultant benefit to the Japanese enemy and unnecessary loss of both Chinese and American lives.


They professed to be unable to do anything about it; Dr. Hornbeck saying: "When I see the people that this Department is sending to China, I shake in my shoes."


It was not until early 1944 that I began to realize that the lies about the Chinese Government and Army were Communist propaganda; and that the main source for spreading them in this country was the Institute of Pacific Relations.  Although I had previously been a member of the Finance Committee of the IPR and helped raise funds for them, and had previously recognized that some of the employees were pro-Communist, I had not suspected the scope of the infiltration. As I had foolishly thrown away all back copies of their publications, unread, I went to their offices to rebuy such back copies. They told me that they were out of print.


I therefore went to the public library and from about April to October 1944, read all articles they had published on the Chinese military and/or political situation from 1937 to that date. I then read the articles in the New Masses, an official Communist weekly, and The Communist, an official Communist monthly, on the same topics, for the same years.


From these I prepared an 88 page study (frequently referred to in the McCarran hearings) and sent it with a covering letter to Mr. E. C. Carter and to each of the Trustees of the IPR and such members and other persons interested in the Far East as were known to, or suggested to me. (Later the IPR in their so-called analysis which Mr. Dennett testified was prepared by Mrs. Maxwell S. Stewart, and not by the Trustees, and in other testimony, charged that my study contained extracts from only 2 percent of their articles published between 1937 and 1944. This may or may not be literally true, but is irrelevant as I studied and extracted only their articles on the military and/or political situation in China. To the best of my memory my extracts covered all or practically all of their articles in those two fields. I did not attempt to analyze their articles on other countries than China [even including the U. S. and Canada], nor on other topics such as economics, industry, transportation, finance, agriculture, folklore, family life, shipping, missionary activities, fisheries, etc., etc.)


In my covering letter to Mr. Carter, dated Nov. 9, 1944, I said in part:


"Last June I received from United China Relief a copy of a booklet issued by your IPR entitled 'War-Time China' (IPR Pamphlet No. 10). In a recent advertisement, Rosamund Lee, your Publications Secretary, referring to this pamphlet states, 'What is the true situation between the Chinese Communists and the Kuomintang as explained by Maxwell S. Stewart in War-Time China.’


"Frankly, I was shocked at this pamphlet. From start to finish, it seemed to me a deliberate smear of China, the Chinese and the Chinese Government. I was especially shocked by the following: 'They (the American, British and Soviet Governments) have, however, limited their economic and military assistance because of fear that any supplies they send might be used in civil strife rather than against the Japanese.'


"The statement seems completely at variance with the many statements made by our President to the effect that all possible aid is being given to China and will continue to be given to China.


"Three or four years ago, you may recall, I resigned after a dozen years membership in IPR. You asked me the reason for my resignation and I told you frankly that I thought you had too many Communists on your staff. You asked me if I thought you were a Communist, to which I, of course, replied 'No.' You then told me that you did not question your staff as to their political beliefs: whether they were Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, Communists, or what not; that you investigated their qualifications and judged them by their work.  This seemed to me at the time a very businesslike attitude and I withdrew my resignation.


"After reading the above referred-to booklet, I decided to look into the IPR publications further. As a result of this reading, I now attach hereto a lot of clippings from your publications, along with clippings from 'The Communist' (Official organ of the Communist Party in the U. S. A.) and 'New Masses' (another Communist organ), also a few other clippings that seem to bear on the same issues. If you will go through these, I think you will find that your employees have been putting over on you a not-too-well-camouflaged Communist line. Your staff publications follow the 'New Masses' line exactly but not quite so frankly and the 'New Masses' articles are much better documented.  In selecting these, I have had to clip and clip to keep to reasonable length, but I believe that what is left of each article fairly represents the article as a whole, as far as same touches on the subjects covered.


"This study poses the question: What are the Soviet Union's aims in the Far East? Is there a sinister purpose behind this Communist inspired campaign to discredit China? Only Marshall Stalin can answer this question.


"But another question has been bothering me as I made this study. This question is: Is it treason? Does the publication of untruthful statements give 'aid and comfort' to our enemy, Japan, in its attempt to break Chinese unity under Chiang Kai-shek? This question I propound to your Board of Trustees.


"Look over these clippings and see if you do not think it is time for a housecleaning in the IPR. The economic articles (not quoted) sounded to me very much like undergraduate studies, compiled from studies of Chinese economists and lacking any practical business background.


"If you agree that a house cleaning in the IPR is long overdue, I will be happy to help. My suggestions would be:


"1. Fire all the Reds, because the truth is not in them.

"2. Adopt a policy of presenting facts rather than opinions.  Identify the sources of your information.

"3· Name a responsible body to determine policy.  ''This last point is suggested to me by what I missed in going through your last 7 years' publications. I found:

 1. No criticism of Japan in those 7 years, except of her rural land system;

 2. No single criticism of Communist China; and

 3· No single criticism of the Soviet Union; whereas I found:

 4· Severe criticism of the Chinese Government, alternating with praise, closely following the alternations of the Soviet Union's foreign policy and of the Communist press.


"A responsible committee controlling and vouching for your policy would be very reassuring to the members of, and contributors to your Institute."


This letter was answered, not by Mr. Carter, but by Messrs. Robert G.Sproul, Chairman; Robert D. Calkins, Dean, Columbia University; G. Ellsworth Huggins, Treasurer, and Philip C. Jessup. In their answer they said:


"At its December 11 meeting the Executive Committee of the American Council reviewed Mr. Kohlberg's charges and demands. It desires to report the following:


"The Executive Committee and the responsible officers of the American Council had no reason to consider seriously the charge of bias. The character of the personnel associated with the Institute, the long history of its research activities, and the demonstrated value of its research testify to the fact that it has properly fulfilled its function to conduct impartial research on important issues even though they are controversial.  The Committee believes a full presentation and discussion of such issues is desirable, even in wartime.


"The Institute of Pacific Relations has, and always has had, a responsible body to determine policy. The Pacific Council, with which Mr. Carter is associated, is directed by representatives from the National Councils and that body, made up of these representatives, determines its policies.


"The general policy of the American Council, which is one of the ten constituent bodies in the Institute, is determined by the Board of Trustees. The Executive Committee acts on behalf of the Board of Trustees, when the Board is not in session.


''The research .conducted by the American Council is under the direction of its Research Advisory Committee, to which research planning and policy have been delegated by the Executive Committee.  This Committee formulates and approves research programs, and it approves the research personnel who are engaged for their competence to undertake the special assignments required in the research program. Having hired competent research workers, it is not the policy of the Committee or of the American Council to censor this findings [sic], but to publish them as the research results of the authors themselves."


This answer of the 4 trustees, I answered Dec. 28, 1944. My answer follows (in part):


"The issue presented to Mr. Carter by my letter of Nov. 9 is:


"Have the publications of the I. P. R. (both American Council and Pacific Council) closely followed the Communist line in alternate praise and abuse of the Chinese Government? i. e.


Prior to the Hitler-Stalin pact of Aug. 23, 1939 ………...PRAISE.

Then until June 22, 1941 (Hitler invasion of Russia)….…ABUSE.

Then until Summer of 1943 ……………………………..PRAISE.

Since Summer of 1943 …………………………………..ABUSE


"The issue presented to your Board by my letter of Nov. 9 is: Are these publications treasonable, inasmuch as they are calculated to give 'aid and comfort' to our enemy, Japan, in its attempts by propaganda to break the faith of the Chinese people in the Government of Chiang Kai-shek?


"Neither of these issues is touched on in your letter of Dec. 19.  Whether they were discussed at your meeting of Dec. 11 is not stated.


"Your letter states that, having selected competent employees, you let them publish what they wish, without censorship. Do you consider yourselves responsible bodies and if so, do you, or do you not, assume responsibility for those publications by your staff?


"As a member, may I ask your Research Advisory Committee for the qualifications as 'experts' of the following staff members who write your articles on whether, including dates of their visits to China, cities and provinces visited, and whether you feel their impartiality is attested to, or questioned by, their acceptance as authorities by, and contributors to, the American Communist press:


Maxwell S. Stewart

T, A. Bisson

L. K. Rosinger

Y. Y. Hsu


"As a member, I would be interested to know who elected or appointed to your Board and to your Executive Committee, Mr. Frederick V. Field, Generalissimo of the White House pickets until their liquidation, Sunday, June 22, 1941, and now featured writer on China for the 'Daily Worker,' 'The Communist,' and 'New Masses', I would also be interested to know what makes him an 'expert' on China.


"In my letter of November 9, I called attention to the fact that in reading your publications for the past 7 years, I found no criticism of Japan, Communist China, or the Soviet Union, but alternating praise and abuse of the Chinese Government.


"Since that time I have received scores of letters, many from outstanding American authorities on the Far East. None was critical, some were noncommittal, the majority were commendatory of my study. A number were from ex-members of your Institute who resigned because they felt the Institute had become the not-too-well camouflaged agent of a foreign power whose way of life and worldwide fifth column infiltration are antagonistic to the interest of these United States.


"From that correspondence I attach a letter written to you Oct. 8, 1942, by Mr. Miller Freeman, Seattle publisher. Mr. Freeman tells me his letter was neither answered nor acknowledged. Maybe he, too, should have cleared it privately with Mr. Carter.


"Before closing, one more quotation—this from signed statement of Upton Close:


“‘A few days prior to the Pearl Harbor disaster, Mr. Trammell (head of NBC) 'himself received a letter from E. C. Carter, head of the Institute of Pacific Relations, demanding that I be dropped from the air because I was “anti-Japanese”.’


"One of the questions most commonly asked is: 'What are IPR's motives for their current attacks on China.’  Possibly your Boards would like to make a statement on this, explaining why all your articles on the current complicated situation are written by staff members, none of whom has been in China for years, while contrary statements by such liberals as Pearl Buck and Lin Yutang are ignored, and articles from your own Chinese Council are rejected. May I also ask Mr. Carter whether he personally presented your public criticisms to Chiang Kai-shek, Ho Ying-chin, Chen Li-fu and Sun-fo in Chungking last year and what were their answers?"


I then asked for permission to circulate my fellow members. This was granted by letter from Mr. Raymond Dennett. But when I sent a secretary by appointment to copy the names, they withdrew permission.  I filed suit for the membership list, which after various court vicissitudes was settled by agreement by the IPR to address on their machine under my inspection anyone mailing I might choose to send their members.


In said mailing, dated March 18, 1947, I included a printed resolution appointing an impartial committee of investigation and a proxy to vote for same. Also one article from the New Leader and one from Plain Talk, both about the IPR and wrote my fellow members of the IPR in part as follows:


"By order of the supreme court of the State of New York, this letter is being mailed to you by the American Institute of Pacific Relations, Inc.


"Early in July 1943 I was told by several Americans in Chungking that 'the Chinese Government was hoarding tanks and guns given them under lend-lease to use against the Japs: Late in August, having spent six weeks traveling through Szechuen, Kweichow, Kwangsi, Hunan and Yunnan, I called on Brig. Gen. Arms, U. S. Army, Commander of the Infantry Training School in Kunming. Among other items I asked why he permitted such hoarding. He laughed and said he'd heard some good ones, but this took the cake. He said that up to that date all the arms and ammunition that had come in had gone to him and to the artillery training school; that they were not fully equipped as yet and, until they were, nothing would be flown in (the air route over the hump to Kunming being the only route in) for any other force except the air force whose minimum requirements were the first priority. He explained that nothing but air-force supplies had come in since May, due to the monsoons. After the monsoons ended, he expected the resumption of his equipping; and after that was completed, he explained, General Stilwell was to get full equipment for two of his divisions, and then, after that, 50% was to go to Stilwell and 50% to the Chinese Army—sometime in 1944. At that moment, he said, not one tank or gun or rifle or bazooka or cartridge had been turned over to the Chinese Army under lend-lease—hence none could be hoarded.


"On returning to the United States, I spoke of this and other reports with some heat and was told by friends that the IPR was the chief culprit in the spreading of lies about China, and that the motivation back of it was Communism. I had been a member of the IPR since 1928, but like most businessmen and (as I later learned) like most of their Board of Trustees, I seldom read the literature they sent me, and like most people knew nothing about Communism."To check on these charges, I read through the FAR EASTERN SURVEY and our quarterly PACIFIC AFFAIRS from 1937 to that date (summer of 1944). In my reading I read every article on the political and military situation in China and skipped nearly everything else. Then, to learn the Communist line, I read all the articles on the political and military situation in China in the NEW MASSES (weekly) and THE COMMUNIST (monthly), both being Communist Party official publications. 


"In the course of this reading I learned that the IPR and the Communist publications had switched their attitude or 'line' on the situation in China several times between 1937 and 1944; both IPR and Communists making the same switches at the same time. Further I noticed that to some extent they interchanged writers and both quoted the same authorities; that they were both lyrical in their reviews of the same books; but that, of the three, the NEW MASSES (possibly because it was franker and more open in taking sides) had the best documented articles. In fact, if the IPR had disregarded whatever information sources it had (if any) and relied only on the NEW MASSES, it would have omitted little that it published on the Chinese military and political scene.


"After completing my study, I published extracts from the IPR and the Communist press in an 88-page booklet and sent it with a letter to Mr. E. C. Carter and each of our Trustees and to personal acquaintances interested in China. (You may have a copy of this and later correspondence for the asking.) 


"At that time I thought that Mr. Carter, who was then President of Russian War Relief, was so busy that he had let some Reds on the staff run off with the Institute. I called on him and the Trustees to fire these Reds and exercise a real control over their publications. (That was November 1944.) The answer of the Executive Committee was to issue a letter stating that they did not think my charges 'merited serious consideration.’ (Two of them told me later that they had not read the study.) They then turned the charges and study over to the staff (against whom the charges were filed) to be studied and answered. By April 1945 the staff had prepared a 52-page answer of which I only learned in 1946 and of which even the Chairman of the Trustees couldn't get a copy to give me. I finally obtained a copy by court order in October 1946.


"Since 1944 I have learned much more about the IPR; its apparently completely Communist or pro-Communist staff; that all articles on Far Eastern politics are written by Communists or pro-Communists (some articles on economic, scientific, geographic questions are not); and that it has ties through interlocking directorates or staff with various Communist or pro-Communist organizations.


"Through its influence in the staffing of the State Department, Army and Navy Intelligence, and Far Eastern Divisions; of UNRRA, of OWI, and even General MacArthur's staff, our Institute has put considerable numbers of Communists and pro-Communists where they could and have done the most possible harm and spread the most confusion. How far they have succeeded is strikingly illustrated by comparing the present confusion in our attitude to China with the statement handed to Ambassador Nomura on November 26, 1941, which laid down the terms on which we would restore peaceful relations with Japan (ruptured by the blockade declared July 25, 1941).  Hull's essential demand was:


" '4. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan will not support—militarily, politically, economically—any Government or regime in China other than the National Government of the Republic of China with capital temporarily at Chungking.’


"To attempt to prove my statements is impossible in this letter.  They are proven in part by the study and correspondence referred to above, which will be sent you on request. 


"My attempts to arouse Mr. Carter and our Trustees to investigation and action have failed. Several Trustees, including several of the Executive Committee have resigned, claiming that they were worried by the charges of communism, but had no time to look into them so thought they'd better get out. Our Board of Trustees (47) scattered all over the country never meets. The Executive Committee (10) is chairmanned by a Californian who never attends. The connections of the others are as per attached sheet. Most of our Trustees are, of course, not Communists and furthermore don't take Communists very seriously. Their attitude is very similar to that of a witness before the Senate Atomic Committee, as reported in the New York Sun February 22, 1947, as follows:


" 'Cameron said that he roomed with Hart and knew that his roommate held Marxist views, was sympathetic to Russia, and read the Daily Worker, Communist paper, but did not know that he was a Communist.’


"If our Institute is to be saved for the useful work it can and should do in soundly and objectively posting American scholars, teachers, and writers on the Far East, we, the members, will have to do the job. The first step is to appoint a Board of Investigators to listen to my charges and dig out the facts. Some of the gentlemen named in the enclosed proxy are known to me, some are not, but all bear reputations as good Americans informed on the Far East. I have not asked them if they will serve and cannot do so until I hold sufficient proxies.  I have no doubt that enough will accept to make up a satisfactory board.


"In order to keep this letter within reasonable length, I have omitted going into the following:


"1. Many of the staff and writers have no real claim to scholarship in the fields they cover.

"2. Much of the material published is plagiarized for the above reasons.

"3. Our staff and officers were instrumental in forming the violently pro-Communist 'Committee for a Far Eastern Democratic Policy.’

"4. Our staff and officers were instrumental in maintaining the pro-Communist 'Japanese American Committee for Democracy.’

"5. Our staff and officers conducted a pressure mail campaign to force NBC to continue the wartime 'Pacific Story'—a Communist-angled dramatic half hour.

"6. Our staff and officers have sponsored and published books and articles by such known Communists as Abraham Chapman, Jos. S. Allen, Harriet L. Moore, Philip Jaffe, Anna Louise Strong, Frederick V. Field.

"7. Members of our Board of Trustees and our staff managed to get control of the Far Eastern Division of the State Department, UNRRA and OWl, where they loaded all three with pro-Communists.  Two of them, Owen Lattimore and John Carter Vincent, accompanied Henry Wallace to China in 1944 and talked that adolescent into reporting to Roosevelt that 'we were backing the wrong horse in China' and that Chiang Kai-shek's government would collapse within 90 days: Just prior to that much heralded trip of that great friend of the common man, IPR published a booklet by Henry Wallace, Our Job in the Pacific, which they knew he had not written.

"8. Four of the six persons arrested in the Amerasia case were connected with the IPR.


"I no longer believe the officers and Executive Committee can clean up the Institute. 


"After such an Investigating Committee has completed its investigation and reported, action will then be up to us. Our Trustees will not act and if we wait until Congressional investigation reaches us, it may be too late to save our institution and even our good reputation.”


At the meeting, April 22, 1947, the tellers advised me that they had over 1,100 proxies against the resolution for an investigating committee.  I presented 86 but they disqualified about 20, though they refused to show me their proxies. In the meeting I read my proposed resolution and then stated:


"It would be my intention to present first to this Investigating Committee witnesses, and by witnesses I mean more than one, who would testify that the Institute of Pacific Relations is considered by the National Committee of the Communist Party to be one of its organizations and that certain of the Executive Committee of the American Institute are members of the Communist Party. 


"In addition to these witnesses who would testify to that effect, I would expect to show that committee that there have been certain misstatements of fact in the publications of the Institute, that these misstatements of fact follow a pattern, that the publications of the Institute have been free of criticism of Japan up to Pearl Harbor except for criticisms of the Japanese rural land system, and that they have been free of criticisms of Russia up to date, both Japan and Russia-that is, Siberia-falling within the area covered by the Pacific Institute. 


"I would call attention to the fact that although the Institute has referred to many documents and in books and pamphlets issued by it has published many pertinent documents, four of the most pertinent documents referring to the Far East have always been omitted, and as far as I have been able to find by an examination of the publications, have never been either printed in full or referred to by the Institute. 


"Those four documents are the Tanaka Memorial, the Resolutions of the Colonies and Semi-Colonies adopted by the Sixth World Congress of the Comintern, the program of the Comintern adopted by the same Sixth Congress, and the note of Secretary Hull to Ambassador Nomura of November 21, 1941. 


"I would also expect to show to that same committee that many of the writers are not qualified and that there are much better qualified people in certain of the fields on, for example, the Philippines, Hawaii, than the writers in the publications of the Institute. They are not qualified, and qualified writers are available, and, in fact, members of the Institute. 


"I would also call to the attention of that committee that American policy for the Pacific has been a consistent policy and in a traditional policy. That policy is the policy of the Open Door, proclaimed in 1899 and further confirmed in the Nine-Power Treaty of 1922, and that policy calls for the Open Door, for the independence and the territorial integrity of China, and that the publications of the Institute, although they have published vast amounts of material on China, seldom, if ever, have referred to this policy and its implications. 


"I believe that if the opportunity is presented, I can prove each of those statements and also the charges with which you are familiar from the letter sent you March 20." 


Mr. Arthur H. Dean, Vice Chairman of the IPR, presided in the absence of the Chairman, Robert G. Sproul. He answered my statement, saying that the IPR was lily-white (not red) and he could vouch for it. The vote cast by the nearly 100 present, was unanimous against the resolution. A few days later, by letter, I resigned from the IPR, since which time I have devoted little attention to it. 


Just about a year previous to the above meeting, Mr. J. B. Powell, dean of the American correspondents in China, and Miss Helen Loomis, a former missionary teacher in China, had called a small meeting at Miss Loomis' apartment to form a committee to warn the country of the dangerous policy we were following in China. From this meeting came the American China Policy Association, Inc., of which Mr. Powell was President until his death in 1947, when he was succeeded for one year by former Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce, and Miss Loomis was Secretary-Treasurer. I was elected Vice President and later Chairman of the Board. By resolution the American China Policy Association, Inc. limited its members to persons of American citizenship and provided that only Americans could be brought as guests to its Board meetings, so that America's interest, only, should be presented for consideration. 


Meantime also, I had become publisher and sole financial backer of the magazine Plain Talk, published from October 1946 to May 1950, as a monthly, and now merged with The Freeman, a fortnightly.  During these years, and continuing to the present, I have written numerous open letters to various persons, including Government officials, numerous articles for magazines, and letters to newspapers, on the general topic of our struggle with World Communism. I have also made speeches on numerous occasions. In all cases I have refused to accept monies, from any source, either for articles, speeches or traveling expenses, or as contributions. All expenses have been paid by me personally or by one of the corporations controlled by me and interested in these matters. 


I have five times appeared at public hearings before Committees of the Congress-twice on behalf of the American China Policy Association, Inc., and three times as an individual. Three of the hearings were before the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and two before the Appropriations Committee of the Senate. 


Other than these appearances my visits to Washington have been mostly seeking information as to what was going on in the labyrinth of apparent absence of over-all policy which has led to such disastrous results for America and the Free World. The only members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee whom I have ever met are Senators Brien McMahon, H. Alexander Smith, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Owen Brewster. These were chance meetings. The only members of that Committee on whom I have ever called are Senators H. Alexander Smith and Owen Brewster. When Senator Smith returned from the Far East in 1949, I sent my card in to the Floor and he came to the Senate Lobby and told me of his impressions. I called on Senator Brewster in New York once when he was en route to Europe and presented him with copies of three important Comintern documents. 


Sometime in March 1950 one of Senator McCarthy's assistants got in touch with me and I supplied published material on the Far East and on persons connected with American policy in the Far East. Subsequently, I met the Senator for the first time. Thereafter Drew Pearson broadcast the statement that I was backing Senator McCarthy financially. Up to that moment it had not occurred to me that Senator McCarthy had to pay his staff, as I presumed they were supplied by the Senate. So I wrote Drew Pearson as follows: 


"Your broadcast suggested that Senator McCarthy has been put to heavy expense in his patriotic work of exposing the traitors who have controlled our policy in Asia. I think Americans should join in helping pay some of Senator McCarthy's expenses, so I am going to send him a small check today and hope others do likewise." 


Some days, or a week later, I sent a check for $500 to Senator McCarthy. He returned it with a polite letter saying that charges that I was the China Lobby made it inadvisable for him to accept the contribution. Since then, Senator McCarthy has not suggested, nor have I offered or made a further contribution; nor had I ever previously offered or made any contribution to Senator McCarthy. 


In the course of my studies (which were those of a businessman with some background, but not those of a trained student of international affairs), I learned from persons in a position to know, that at all times for more than 10 years the Communists have maintained control of the Executive Committee of the IPR and of the staff; and that the few changes made, under pressure of public exposure, have not altered this control. About 5 years ago an investigator for the State Department spent two days in my files, and after investigation elsewhere filed a report on the IPR which must have revealed to the State Department the true facts. In spite of which our Far Eastern destiny still lies in the hands of IPR-connected officials. 


At about the same time an investigator for ONI [Office of Naval Intelligence] called on me, said Admiral Nimitz had been invited to become Chairman of IPR; that he had asked ONI to report, and they were making a routine check.  Admiral Nimitz did not become Chairman or a Trustee, but thereafter General Marshall became a Trustee, in spite of the previously filed report of the State Department investigator. 


In a speech to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, February 29, 1952, I called on those Trustees of the IPR (of whom some were present) who were neither Communist nor pro-Communist to rehabilitate themselves with their fellow Americans by coming forward and publicly revealing who pulled the strings and who had induced them to lend their protection to the Communists. On March 13, 1952, I wrote to the Trustees in part as follows:


"To Messrs. Jos. P. Chamberlain, Arthur H. Dean, W. F. Dillingham, Brooks Emeny, Huntington Gilchrist, W. R. Herold, and Philip C. Jessup:


"In March 1947 I proposed a Resolution for investigation of the Institute of Pacific Relations, to be voted at a special meeting on April 22, 1947.


"In seeking proxies to oppose my Resolution, a public letter (March 17, 1947) issued by all of you, denied that there was any need for investigation of the Institute. Among various inaccurate statements, you said: 


"'The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees has investigated Mr. Kohlberg's charges and found them inaccurate and irresponsible.'


"Raymond Dennett, your then secretary, has now sworn before the McCarran Committee that the above statement was untruthful, and known to you to be so.


"To Messrs. Eugene Staley, Herbert Eloesser, Galen M. Fisher, Mrs. Frank A. Gerbode, O. C. Hansen, Mrs. E. H. Heller, Rene A. May, Mrs. Alfred McLaughlin, Mrs. Harold L. Paige, Robert Gordon Sproul, Lynn White, Jr., and Ray Lyman Wilbur (all of California): 


"On March 31, 1947, you issued a public letter of the same general tenor as the above, seeking proxies to oppose my Resolution for investigation.


"To Knight Biggerstaff of Cornell; John K. Fairbank, of Harvard; Harold H. Fisher of the Hoover Library; Kenneth Scott Latourette, of Yale; Raymond Kennedy, of Yale; Wm. W. Lockwood, of Princeton; Donald G. Tweksbury [sic] of Columbia:


"You signed statements in the same proxy fight, exonerating the 1. P. R. of the slightest Communist bias.


"To Messrs. Edward W. Allen, Raymond B. Allen, Christian O. Arndt, J. Ballard Atherton, E. C. Auchter, George T. Cameron, Edward C. Carter, D. C. Clarke, Arthur G. Coons, George B. Cressey, Lauchlin Currie, John L. Curtis, Len de Caux, K. R. Duke, Clarence A. Dykstra, Rupert Emerson, Frederick V. Field, Charles K. Gamble, Carrington Goodrich, Henry F. Grady, Mortimer Graves, R. P. Heppner, John R. Hersey, Paul G. Hoffman, Benjamin H. Kizer, Daniel E. Koshland, Lewis L. Lapham, Owen Lattimore, Herbert S. Little, Boyd A. Martin, Charles E. Martin, Abbot Low Moffat, Donald M. Nelson, David N. Rowe, Gregg M. Sinclair, D. B. Straus, Donald B. Tresidder, Juan Trippe, Sumner Wells, Brayton Wilbur, Heaton L. Wrenn, Louise L. Wright and J. D. Zellerbach: 


"You were the remaining members of the Board of Trustees of the IPR at the time my Resolution for investigation was voted on April 22, 1947. Not one of you voted for my Resolution to investigate.  "Since that time numerous qualified witnesses have testified under oath before the McCarran Committee that: 


"1. Your organization constantly and deliberately followed the Communist line in its publications.

"2. Some espionage activities were carried on.

"3. More than forty of your staff, Trustees and writers were actual Communists, or espionage agents, or both, and others leaned that way. 

"4. That activities in infiltrating our government by such people were carried on both officially and unofficially in your name.


"The balance of this letter is addressed only to those of you who are not Communists, or pro-Communist in your sympathies. I suggest that you explain to the McCarran Committee your defense of the conspiracy in your midst; stating names of persons who induced you to protect the guilty, and reasons given; and reasons for neglecting the duty incumbent on you as Trustees. For example, which of you inveigled General Marshall into joining your Board? 


"Such confession is the atonement for past injury to our country made by Louis Budenz and the other ex-Communists who testified.  I hesitate to think you have less regard for our country's welfare than they." 


Thereafter I received a letter from Dr. Roscoe Pound, dean emeritus of the Harvard Law School, and at present, visiting professor at the School of Law, University of California at Los Angeles, dated March 18, 1952, in which he said: 


"Many thanks for your statement of date March 14 which I am rejoiced to have. One of the worst offenders in my experience is Professor J. K. Fairbank of Harvard. He is beyond redemption, but I take pleasure in showing him up on every occasion. I ran into him first in Nanking where the State Department information office was a fountain of misinformation."


I further state that the testimony on page 1085 of the MacArthur hearings of last May by Senator Knowland and General Bradley to the effect that we have no objectives in Korea; and the statement near the bottom of page 1556 of Part 5 of the McCarran hearings by Ambassador George Kennan to the effect that we have no over-aIl foreign policy, not even the Open-Door Policy and the Monroe Doctrine any longer, is conclusive proof either of incompetence on the part of the State Department, or neglect of America's interests by that Department.


                                                                                                                                                                                            ALFRED KOHLBERG.

          Sworn to and subscribed before me this 16th day of April 1952.

          [SEAL.]                                                                               PASQUALE J. FENICO,

                                                                                                        Notary Public, State of New York.

          Commission Expires March 30, 1954.


*This testimony comes from Appendix K of The China Lobby Man: The Story of Alfred Kohlberg by Joseph Keeley (Arlington House, 1969).


Reinforcement from Freda Utley


Reformed ex-Communist Freda Utley’s book The China Story was published by the Henry Regnery Company in April of 1951.  At that point Utley seemed to be unaware of Kohlberg because she makes no reference to him in her book.  So well does this work by a person with deep experience with both China and with Communism support what Kohlberg says, though, that, if he had her writing skill, it could have been written by Kohlberg himself.  This is a representative sample from pp. 155-156:


It is particularly important to note how many “experts” on the Far East the IPR supplied to government agencies during the war and afterward, and how close was its connection with the State Department and the minor government agencies which the State Department controlled or influenced.


Four IPR staff members worked for the China Section of the UNRRA.  Three were employed as “research” workers on Japanese reconstruction at MacArthur’s headquarters.  William L. Holland, a prominent IPR official, was appointed to head the Office of War Information in China.  Benjamin Kizer, the Spokane lawyer who was Vice President of the IPR, was appointed head of UNRRA in China, where I found him strongly favorable in his view of the Chinese Communists.


The United States Government bought 750,000 IPR pamphlets for distribution in the Pacific and Asiatic theaters of war, thus giving its official blessing to the pro-Communist views of this organization.


Although most Americans have probably never heard of the Institute of Pacific Relations, even their children have been influenced by its propaganda.  For over a million copies were sold of its Special Series for youngsters, published jointly by the IPR and the Webster Company of St. Louis.  And many an editorial writer, ignorant concerning the Far East, has made use of the material furnished him by the IPR, which he has had every reason to trust on account of the eminent names which appear on its masthead.


Sheppard Marley, in an article in the December 1946 issue of Plain Talk, quotes the following advertisement in the “Personal” column of the Saturday Review of Literature:


Long on curiosity—short on time?  IPR popular pamphlets make you a scintillating conversationalist on the Far East.  You can deftly discuss everything from Australian slang to the problems of China and the Philippines.  Send for a list of Institute of Pacific Relations pamphlets today.  Box 939-K.


It is, unfortunately, all too true that a synthetic “deftness” in discussing Far Eastern problems could be acquired by reading Pacific Affairs and Far Eastern Survey.  The material presented in these IPR publications had a veneer of scholarship.  Only an expert on Communism can easily detect the pro-Communist slant of the majority of the articles they published.

Both Freda Utley and Joseph Keeley, the author of the Kohlberg biography, stress the near monopoly the IPR and their pro-Communist friends had over the book publishing and reviewing industry in the United States as it related to China in the critical period of the 1940s.  This is Utley, page 144:


In America, during the 1940’s, the union of the friends of the Chinese Communists enjoyed what amounted to a closed shop in the book-reviewing field.  Theirs were almost the only views expressed in such important publications as the New York Times and New York Herald Tribune Sunday book supplements and the Saturday Review of Literature—publications which make or break books.  (The Sunday Book Review supplement of the New York Times seems in recent months to have discarded many of its old reviewers in favor of others without Communist sympathies.)  If one looks through their back numbers, one finds that it was rare that any book on China was not given to a small group of reviewers.  Week after week, and year after year, most books on China, and on the Far East, were reviewed by Owen Lattimore, John K. Fairbank, Edgar Snow, Nathaniel Peffer, Theodore White, Annallee Jacoby, Richard Lauterbach, and others with the same point of view.


Appendix H of the Keeley book on Kohlberg is a listing of the books on China reviewed by The New York Times Book Review and the New York Herald Tribune over the 1945-1950 period.  Altogether, 31 such books were reviewed by The Times and 36 by the Herald Tribune.  Lattimore was the leading reviewer, racking up 12 altogether.  Eleven of those were in the Herald Tribune, but the most influential one in the whole list might have been his glowing 1947 review in The Times on The Unfinished Revolution in China by Israel Epstein.  Epstein later defected to Communist China and became its leading propagandist and a high level official in the government.  All four of Lattimore’s books over the period were reviewed by both publications.  One may assume that the reviews were favorable; two of them were by Snow and an equal number by Fairbank.  Overlooked by Utley in her list of reviews were five in the Herald Tribune by Lattimore’s wife, Eleanor.


David Martin

February 7, 2012




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