5-470 To Colonel Marshall S. Carter, June 10, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: June 10, 1946

Subject: China

To Colonel Marshall S. Carter

June 10, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 865. [Nanking, China]

Top Secret

I think you should know reasons behind recent heavy Communist propaganda attack against U. S. and me personally. Extended absence of Generalissimo in Mukden and Peiping while his armies hastened their advances in Manchuria, this occurring just as I had brought the two sides to the verge of an agreement, enraged Communists and what was much more serious aroused a deep suspicion in their minds that I was favoring the Government side and was a party to the delay caused by the Generalissimo’s prolonged absence while his armies capitalized their success to the south of Changchun. Incidentally, use of my plane added to Communist belief but he used plane on my urging for safety reason and because Madame Chiang was ill yet he insisted on her accompanying him.

To add fat to the fire Generalissimo then made demand for agreement that the Americans on teams, at Executive Headquarters and finally for me on Committee of Three have authority to make final decision in case of all disagreements. To offset approval this proposition might gain from American public the Communist concentrated propaganda attack resulted, but it was hatched before the 15 day proposition had been broached. The Communists are now inclined to accept me on old terms of confidence but much harm has been done. Incidentally I would have to be very careful of Soviet reactions against U. S. Government if I were given power of decision on highest level which though military would necessarily involve the final word regarding some of the most delicate questions concerning the reorganization of local and provincial government in Manchuria.

I would not risk this information through normal radio or office channels but I pass it to you for limited use as seems best in your judgment. It might be well to tip Shipley off, though this is questionable. However, you are on the ground and you know the reactions: State Department, press and radio, and maybe political.

Chou is back from Yenan and negotiations are proceeding initially in favorable manner.

Another subject:

Convey my congratulations to the Chief Justice. Tell him I will miss his influence on NAC.1 Notify Baruch that I am writing him a letter regarding Atomic questions he asked.2 Take occasion to remark to Dean Acheson and Vincent that I am deeply sensible of the complete backing they are giving me in every way, small Embassy or consulate business, funds, etc., etc. This is a hell of a problem but we will lick it yet, pessimists to the contrary notwithstanding.

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. Former congressman and court of appeals judge Fred M. Vinson had been secretary of the treasury since July 23, 1945, and also chairman of the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Problems. On June 6, President Truman nominated him to be chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; he took the oath of office on June 24.

2. In early April, the Senate had given its approval to Bernard M. Baruch’s nomination to be the U.S. member of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission. In a May 24 letter to Marshall, Baruch noted that “a national policy has to be developed to cover that subject [atomic energy] and, generally, other instrumentalities of war.” On his letter and Marshall’s reply, see Marshall to Baruch, August 21, 1946, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-536 [5: 660-62].

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. 586-587.

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