5-577 Draft Notes of Meeting with Generalissimo, October 13, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: October 13, 1946

Subject: Postwar, China

Draft Notes of Meeting with Generalissimo1

October 13, [1946] [Nanking, China]

General Pee and Dr. Stuart interpreted.

The Gimo inquired if there had been any further proposals by Communists.

Doctor Stuart replied in the negative and at Gen. M— suggestion related what he had learnt from Mr. Liang that morning.

Gimo discounted statement that minority parties had united in stand against [a meeting of the] National Assembly under present conditions. He thought a different reaction would be apparent in a day or two. He explained that formal confirmation [by the government] of assembling meeting was a routine procedure, completely justified, in his opinion. He wished us [Stuart and Marshall] to consider the possibility of his making a statement as suggested by General Marshall on the Gimo’s return to Nanking; modified in accordance with recent changes in the situation.

Gen. M— had understood the Gimo at their last meeting to suggest this [statement], specifically mentioning General Chou’s last memorandum, of October __ [9]. The Gimo said he did not want any reference to General Chou’s memo. General Marshall replied that it was not a question of reference to the memo, but of consideration of the statements in the memo. The Gimo stated that he was not considering that. Gen. M— asked what change in the situation was to be considered then other than the occupation of Kalgan?

Gen. M. continued by stating that the important factor was the immediate cessation of hostilities; that even if the Communist were forced to submit to various agreements by the pressure of armed action there could be no healthy result in the political negotiation and reorganization of the government—the bitterness engendered would be too deep and the spirit of revenge and distrust too great.

The Gimo said that he could not agree to an unconditional cessation of hostilities without some evidence for the people and the government leaders that there had been advantages gained for the reorganization of the government. He mentioned the announcement of the Communist delegates to the National Assembly as an example.

Gen. M reminded the Gimo that in early July he [the Generalissimo] had stated that it was necessary first to deal harshly with the Communists and later after 2 or 3 months to take a generous attitude. Certainly now, 31/2 months later with the government in possession of all the important strategical points, it was the time for a generous attitude.

The Gimo agreed but repeated his previous statement.

Gen. M— questioned the Gimo regarding the reorganization of the Ex[ecutive] Yuan. The Gimo replied that he would make no reference to that in his statement, it must come after the National Assembly.

Gen. M questioned the Gimo as to why the Constitutional Draft Committee was not reconvened. While the answer to this indicated willingness to have that Committee get back to work it was not clear as to “why etc.”

The Gimo closed the meeting by saying that he wished to wait a day or two, watch developments and then make his decision.

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the Department of State (RG 59), Lot Files, Marshall Mission, War Department, Originals, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Handwritten notes.

1. Another version of this document is in Foreign Relations, 1946, 10: 363-64.

Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 718-719.

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