MY NARRATIVE HERE is based upon thirty years of involvement with Formosan affairs. It began with a period of study in Japan (1935-1937), led on to a three-year residence at Taipei (1937-1940) and to graduate work at Columbia University.
As a so-called "Formosa Specialist" my civilian service with the War Department (1942-1943), commissioned service with the Navy (1944-1946) and again civilian service with the Department of State (1946-1947) gave me opportunities to see Formosa from the Washington or official point of view.
Since 1947 I have been concerned with the Formosa problem in a rather academic way. My lectures at the University of California (Berkeley) and at Stanford University may have been the first attempts to examine Formosa's historic role on the Western Pacific frontier.
In presenting this account I quote extensively from government sources, from the daily press at Taipei, Tokyo and Shanghai, and from personal letters. I am particularly indebted to members of the UNRRA team who were struggling to bring order out of Chinese chaos at Taipei during my service in the American Consulate there.
I have used official UNRRA reports and many private communications from team members. Some prefer to remain anonymous and some have given me permission to quote directly from their reports, publications and letters. I am grateful to them all and to other members of the foreign community who contributed information incorporated here.
Correspondents still living on Formosa or having family and property there must remain unnamed.
Quotations from Formosan letters which were written originally in English have sometimes required slight editing to make the meaning clear without changing the substance. The changes are indicated with bracketing. Since most of the correspondents were at one time my students I assume responsibility in editing the texts.
Quotations from Formosan and Shanghai papers are taken from daily press summaries prepared at the American Consulate at Taipei. Files are presently on deposit at the Hoover Institute and Library at Stanford University.
The island is known to the Chinese and Japanese as Taiwan. I have retained this in direct quotations and in the names of most institutions, agencies and publications of which it is a part. Elsewhere I have used Formosa, from the old Portuguese name Ilha Formosa or "Beautiful Island."
Dr. K. C. Wu, former Governor of Formosa, has generously permitted me to quote extensively from his open letters to Chiang Kai-shek and to the National Assembly at Taipei. Dr. Ira D. Hirschy, UNRRA's Chief Medical Officer at Taipei in 1946-1947, has allowed me to use his private letters and his published observations. Peggy and Tillman Durdin arranged for me to read portions of an unpublished manuscript entitled Taiwan and the Nationalist Government which they are preparing for the Council on Foreign Relations at New York.
Edward Eckerdt Paine, Reports Officer for the UNRRA Office at Taipei and former Major in the United States Air Force in China, collaborated with me in 1948, at considerable personal sacrifice, in assembling raw materials for this record of conditions and events in Formosa n 1946 and 1947. 1 thank him here again for his cooperation.
Martha and Robert Catto, my colleagues in the Consulate, shared most of the "official experience" and much of the private adventure at Taipei, and have been good enough to read the present text in manuscript.
Dr. Robert A. Scalapino, who honors me with a Foreword here, is Chairman of the Department of Political Science at the University of California (Berkeley) and author of many significant commentaries on the Formosa Question.
Juanita Vitousek, at whose country place this was first drafted in 1958, has read and re-read the manuscript, making many useful comments. Alice Crabbe has done much of the typing, and George Sasaki has prepared the maps. I am grateful to them.
No one quoted in this record may be held responsible for the context into which I have introduced the materials, or for the interpretations which I have given them.
GEORGE H. KERR
February 28, 1965