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Meeting of the Committee of Three
June 24, 1946, 10:35 A.M. Nanking, China
MARSHALL resumed discussion of the key fifth paragraph of Colonel Hill’s draft agreement on communications restoration (see the final version in Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 1187-88): the elimination of fortifications along the railways. Disagreement quickly evidenced itself, so he switched to consideration of the sixth paragraph (railway personnel). The issue of determining personnel qualifications raised serious problems, and Marshall thought that the American member of field teams or Executive Headquarters Communications Group should have the deciding vote in case the Chinese deadlocked. Chou En-lai agreed to this, but thought that personnel issues should be handled in a separate agreement. A great deal of discussion but little progress ensued, so Marshall called a recess in the formal proceedings, after which he stated: “That was a constructive 10 minutes.” The Chinese then agreed that qualified Communists would be employed on the railroads’ restored sections and would be included as personnel of the Ministry of Communications “in accordance with a plan to be determined.” Finally, a draft of the entire paragraph was agreed upon and shortly thereafter the entire document.
Marshall then directed the discussion to “Directive for the Termination of Hostilities in Manchuria” (see the final version, ibid., pp. 1186-87). The Chinese agreed that the troop withdrawal distance would be twenty li (6.2 miles). They then took up consideration of General Chou’s “Stipulations for the Resolution of Certain Disagreements Among the Field and Communication Teams, and Executive Headquarters in Changchun and in Peiping” (see ibid., p. 1189). With little difficulty, Marshall led the committee through the paragraphs in sequence, and the document was approved. (Ibid., pp. 1169-86.)
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. 605-606.