5-571a Editorial Summary of Meeting with John Leighton Stuart

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: October 5, 1946

Subject: China

Editorial Summary of Meeting with John Leighton Stuart

October 5, 1946 Nanking, China


AMBASSADOR Stuart came over twice in the evening to report on meetings, the first with Wang Ping-nan who gave Chou En-lai’s reply on the four concessions Marshall had suggested the Communists make. (See the summary of the Marshall-Stuart meeting of October 3, #5-568a.) The Communists contended that: (1) they (with the Democratic League) had a right to fourteen seats on the State Council; (2) their withdrawal from north Kiangsu could be settled by the Committee of Three; (3) under certain circumstances they would name their delegates to the National Assembly; (4) the party had already announced the withdrawal of its forces from Tatung.

Marshall observed that, in essence, none of his suggestions had been accepted. He “was certain that the Generalissimo would deny that the Communist Party and the Democratic League were to have 14 minority votes.” Since Committee of Three agreements required unanimous consent and Chou thus could block agreement on north Kiangsu, a settlement of this issue seemed improbable. “As for the number of delegates in the National Assembly belonging to a particular party, that requires unanimous vote by the Steering Committee of the PCC. Each party has one vote and hence any one party could keep the issue from being settled, with the result that the Communist Party would never have to announce their list of delegates.”

Dr. Stuart was back three hours later to tell Marshall about his 8:00 P.M. meeting with Chiang Kai-shek. The Generalissimo said that he was willing to stop the government forces’ advances for five days or longer if the mediators insisted, but the Communists would have to agree to meet immediately with the Committee of Three and the Five-Man Committee. Marshall and Stuart agreed to meet with the Generalissimo the following morning. (Foreign Relations, 1946, 10: 295-96, 297.)

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