5-479 To Colonel Marshall S. Carter, June 18, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: June 18, 1946

Subject: China

To Colonel Marshall S. Carter

June 18, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 927. [Nanking, China]


I sent you a personal statement in my GOLD 926 to be used at your discretion.1 In supplement to that, the following may prove useful to you as private lobbying material:

1. Congressional approval of the bill is important whatever the outcome of peace efforts in China. American military assistance would be invaluable in cementing Communist-Government army reorganization and integration if peace efforts are successful. If they are not, the hands of the President and his advisors are free to go through with the program of assistance to the Central Government alone or not as final determination of policy dictated.

2. Despite propaganda recriminations on both sides and the appearance of irreconcilable enmity, there are still prospects of an ultimate agreement for peace and unity in China. These prospects certainly would be dimmer by a refusal to enact this legislation.

3. Expenditures under the program would be small in comparison with the tremendous benefits that would be obtained in the direction of a stable China and of Chinese forces founded on a basis of cooperation with Americans and the use of American equipment.

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. On June 12, a draft bill to provide military assistance to China had been sent from the State Department to the Senate (S. 2337) and House of Representatives (H.R. 6795). The total requested appropriation of just over $100,000,000 was for: (1) supporting a Chinese division as part of the occupation force in Japan; (2) training for the Chinese Air Force; (3) military aid for the four months following the July 1, 1946, termination of lend-lease authority; (4) the cost of U.S. Navy supplies on the vessels transferred to China prior to June 30, 1946; and (5) the Kalgan Communist training school. (See Foreign Relations, 1946, 10: 747-50.)

Marshall sent a “personal statement” to Colonel Marshall Carter for use—“if desirable”—in supporting the aid bill: “The purpose of the bill . . . is to support the American program for creating a stable and friendly China. . . . I believe that the passage of the bill by Congress would facilitate the efforts now being made to promote peace and unity between warring factions in China. The President under the terms of the bill would have the authority to proceed at his discretion in accordance with the situation, towards the establishment by the Chinese of unified National Defense Forces. The assistance to Chinese ground forces authorized in the bill would be carried out in accordance with the program of reorganization and integration of National Government and Chinese Communist armies as agreed upon by Government and Communist representatives and the Military Advisory Group. Without passage of the bill the President and myself would lack authorization to carry through a phase of American policy toward China which appears vital to the success of our announced policy. American assistance as contemplated under the bill to supplement the efforts of the Chinese themselves, would serve to create in China ground, air and naval forces modern in character and of sufficient strength and effectiveness to contribute materially to stability in the Far East.” (Marshall to Carter, Radio No. GOLD 925, June 18, 1946, NA/RG 59 [Lot Files, Marshall Mission, Military Affairs, GOLD Messages].)

Marshall’s statement was included in the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s June 28 report on the bill to the whole House (Report No. 2361, 77th Cong., 2d sess.). For further developments on this bill, see Marshall to Carter, July 22, 1946, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-507 [5: 632-33].

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. 597-598.

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