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Editorial Summary of Meetings with John Leighton Stuart
November 7-8, 1946, Stuart’s Residence Nanking, China
November 7, 10:30 A.M.
At the Generalissimo’s request, Marshall and Stuart met with him on the evening of November 5. (See Marshall’s November 8 report to President Truman, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-591 [5: 739-41], and his notes on the meeting in Foreign Relations, 1946, 10: 486-87.) Before Marshall and Stuart could prepare a policy statement for the Generalissimo to release, they received Chiang’s 1,950-word version. Stuart thought this document was too long and omitted some key points. Marshall said that “he had been so discouraged upon reading the statement that he felt a completely new statement would have to be prepared. The Generalissimo’s provocative, confusing, and irritating language so submerged the principal idea of the cessation of hostilities that the true significance of a statement would be lost.” And, he said, Madame Chiang had agreed with his assessment not thirty minutes previously on the telephone. Dr. Stuart suggested that General Marshall attempt to rewrite the document. (Foreign Relations, 1946, 10: 481-82.)
November 8, 9:30 A.M.
Members of the Democratic League had reported to Ambassador Stuart the previous evening on their meeting with Chou En-lai. The Communist leader expressed to them complete disdain for the Generalissimo and said that the Communists should not reply to Chiang’s October 16 statement. Marshall and Stuart then carefully worked over the previous day’s first draft of a statement for the Generalissimo. A version showing the differences between the two drafts is printed below. (Ibid., pp. 482-84.)
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), p. 736.