5-598 To Colonel Marshall S. Carter, November 22, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: November 22, 1946

Subject: China

To Colonel Marshall S. Carter

November 22, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 1800. [Nanking, China]

Top Secret

Doctor T. V. Soong and his Vice Minister Doctor Wang Wen-hao express great concern over the Japanese reparations program, fearing that rehabilitation of the Japanese economy is being overemphasized to the detriment of China whose economic recovery is hampered by delay in provision of reparations materials. Specifically, they fear that the recent rapid progress of the Japanese in the light consumer industry field may force China to purchase these articles from Japan. Ambassador Koo1 is reported to be alarmed over the reparations problem and to have recommended through Chinese channels that flow of reparations materials to China be started at once. Chinese here have suggested creation of a small high level Sino-American committee in Washington to review most confidentially the Japanese reparations policies in the light of China’s economic situation.

At the same time Chinese are privately disturbed over SCAP [Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, Japan] handling of operational phases of Japanese reparations. They sense a somewhat anti-China attitude and cite as an example Russian commission [in Japan] of 750 while Chinese commission is limited to appproximately 100.

I do not wish in any way to embarrass General MacArthur or to encourage Chinese division tactics. Moreover, I have stated vehemently to Doctor Wang that in spite of long range United States interest in assisting China economically, no help could possibly be expected in the face of the present deplorable political and military situation in China with military leaders absorbing 80 to 90 per cent of budget. However, I have agreed to present to the State Department informally the Chinese desire for the committee in paragraph one above. I wish you to introduce the matter into the State Department based upon this radio to obtain their free reaction for my guidance. I will not approach General MacArthur on the problem in second paragraph above until I get State Department reaction just referred to.

At our last meeting Doctor Wang Wen-hao presented a letter from Doctor T. V. Soong2 outlining a lavish, long range program for United States economic assistance to China. I will forward this letter to you separately for background information of the State Department. I desire no action on this letter at this time.

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

Document Format: Typed radio message.

1. Dr. V. K. Wellington Koo had been China’s ambassador to the United States since July 1946.

2. See Foreign Relations, 1946, 10: 1021-22.

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. 748.

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