5-551 Memorandum of Meeting with Generalissimo, September 9, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: September 9, 1946

Subject: China

Memorandum of Meeting with Generalissimo

September 9, 1946 Kuling, China


I opened the meeting with a resume of the situation regarding the difficulties which were delaying the meeting of the informal group under the chairmanship of Dr. Stuart [i.e., the Five-Man Committee] to reach an agreement for the organization of the State Council. The principal difficulty is that Chou En-lai insists that if an agreement is reached by the Stuart group and this agreement is confirmed by the Steering Committee of the PCC, then hosilities should cease unconditionally. On the other hand, the Generalissimo’s concurrence in the organization of the Stuart group was on the basis that it was not to deal with the military question or cessation of hostilities nor would he admit of any abatement of the terms of his five stipulations.1 I explained the justification for some misunderstanding on the part of General Chou and that he was taking up the difficulties with Yenan. I also explained that he had cleared with Dr. Stuart and me his understanding of the situation.

I explained that General Chou had made an important point of the Communist refusal to accept the new State Council, if organized, as a basis for settling the terms of cessation of hostilities because that would be done on the basis of the majority vote which was assured to be Kuomintang. General Chou insisted that the terms for the military agreement should be determined by the Committee of Three.

The Generalissimo stated that he was agreeable to the settlement of the military terms by the Committee of Three if the Communists accepted the proposition that this committee would carry into effect;

1) the agreement for the resumption of communications,

2) an agreement for the military reorganization which would stipulate the localities or places where Communist troops were to be stationed, and

3) the terms tentatively agreed to for the settlement of hostilities in Manchuria.

He stated with reference to the five stipulations or demands he had made that most of these will automatically be covered or settled in the reorganization of the Government (except regarding North Kiangsu—regarding which in reality the Generalissimo will depend upon me to settle).

He stated that I should make suggestions with reference to the five points that did not involve military reorganization, and I replied that the only item that was not covered by military reorganization pertained to local government. I mentioned specifically the stumbling block this had been in the discussions regarding Kiangsu. The Generalissimo stated with reference to the local government issue, that that could be settled by the State Council including the Kiangsu issue.

The Generalissimo stated that before the cessation of hostilities could be agreed to the Communists must announce their representatives for the National Assembly.

He stated that he hoped that the draft committee could resume work on the constitution. He stated most confidentially (that his [is] for my information alone and not even for Dr. Stuart’s) that when the Stuart committee had made fair progress the Generalissimo would instruct Dr. Sun Fo to reconvene his committee and go ahead with the draft constitution.2

I stated in this connection that we must have quick action regarding the constitutional draft, otherwise the cessation of hostilities would be fatally delayed and once the fighting had spread into Manchuria, the situation for the time being was well nigh impossible.

The Generalissimo insisted that he felt that the Communists would attach major importance to the reorganization of the Executive Yuan, while I was of the opinion that they gave major importance to the drafting of the constitution as a preliminary to the announcement of the delegates to the National Assembly. He wished me to say to General Chou that in my opinion the reorganization of the Executive Yuan could only be arranged after the organization of the National Assembly and he authorized me to say at the same time that the Government will ask the constitutional drafting committee to reconvene and get down to work.

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, China Mission, Memoranda-Messages-Cables, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed memorandum.

1. In early August, in response to Dr. Stuart’s proposal that an informal Nationalist-Communist committee be created to prepare the way for establishing a State Council, Chiang Kai-shek set five conditions that the Communists had to meet before he would approve convening the group: (1) withdraw north of the Lunghai railroad in north Kiangsu; (2) withdraw from the vicinity of the Kiaochow-Tsingtao-Tsinan railroad; (3) withdraw from Chengteh and the area south; (4) in Manchuria, withdraw into the provinces of Heilungkiang, Nunkiang, and half of Hsingan; (5) restore to the government territories taken since June 7 in Shansi and Shantung provinces. (Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 1453; see also pp. 1465-68.)

2. Regarding Sun Fo, see the summary of Marshall’s meeting with Percy Chen on August 23, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-538 [5: 664].

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. 681-682.

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