John Paton Davies

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John Paton Davies was a U.S. State Department, Policy Planning Committee official during World War II.

John Paton Davies wrote on June 24, 1943: "The Kuomintang and Chiang Kai-shek recognize that the Communists, with the popular support which they enjoy and their reputation for administrative reform and honesty, represent a challenge to the Central Government and its spoils system."[1] and that the Chinese revolutionists were moving away from the concept of world revolution.[2]

Senator Joseph McCarthy stated that, "Both (John Stewart) Service and Davies spent considerable time in China as State Department officials. In their recommendations to Washington both followed the Communist Party line. For example, on November 7, 1944, Davies submitted a memorandum to the State Department outing that the Communist Party in China was 'a modern dynamic popular government.' At the same time he referred to the anti-Communists as 'feudal.' 'The Communists are in China to stay. And China's destiny is not Chiang's but theirs,' said Davies. On December 12, 1944 he urged that we supply the Chinese Communists with arms -- a proposal which Dean Acheson two years later requested Congress to approve." In 1944, Ambassador to China, Patrick J. Hurley, accused Davies of working behind his back to support the Communists. According to Hurley, "Davies had one day flown off to Yenan to tell Mao TseTung, the Communist leader, that Hurley, our Ambassador (an anti-Communist), did not represent the American viewpoint." According to The China Story by Freda Utley, Davies was a great fan of Communist operative Agnes Smedley who operated in China. Utley states, "Davies was also a great admirer of Agnes Smedley, whom he called one of 'the pure in heart.' He used to invite us all to excellent dinners at the American consulate, at which he expressed both his admiration and affection for Agnes. Together with Edgar Snow and other journalists I knew in Hankow, he [Davies] became one of the most potent influences in the Department [of State] furthering the cause of the Chinese Communists."

The McCarran Committee had found that Davies had "testified falsely before the subcommittee in denying that he recommended the Central Intelligence Agency employ, utilize and rely upon certain individuals having Communist associations and connections. This matter was...substantial in import." Despite the enormous evidence of Davies' support of the Communists, the State Department cleared him of being a security/loyalty risk. Eventually, in 1954, under political pressure from McCarthy and Senator Patrick McCarran, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles asked Davies to resign. When he refused, on 5 November 1954, Dulles terminated his employment, stating that Davies had "demonstrated a lack of judgment, discretion and reliability." [3]


  1. E. J. Kahn, Jr., The China Hands: America's Foreign Service Officers and What Befell Them, New York, 1972, pg. 97.
  2. While You Slept : Our Tragedy in Asia and Who Made It, John T. Flynn, New York : The Devin - Adair Company, 1951, pg. 34 pdf.
  3. Buckley, Jr., William F. and Bozell, L. Brent (1954, 1995 Printing). McCarthy & His Enemies, The Record And It's Meaning. Regnery Publishing Inc.. ISBN 0-89526-472-2.  McCarthy, Joseph (1953). Major Speeches and Debates of Senator Joe McCarthy Delivered in the United States Senate, 1950-1951. U. S. Government Printing Office. ISBN 0-87968-308-2.  Congressional Record, (June 14, 1951). Page 6574. U. S. Government Printing Office.  Utley, Freda (1951). The China Story. Chicago, H. Regnery Co.. ASIN B00005VL2B.  McCarthy, Joseph (1952). McCarthyism: The Fight for America: Documented Answers to Questions Asked by Friend and Foe. The Devin-Adair Company. ASIN B0007DRBZ2.