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To Colonel Marshall S. Carter
July 22, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 1164. [Nanking, China]
Reference your WAR-94906 July 19 and GOLD 1139 regarding Chinese legislation.1 My present view follows: In the present state of my efforts to influence China governmental course of action and the determined stand and plans of political reactionaries, civil and military, I do not wish to urge the passage of the legislation. Yet I do not want it withdrawn. I think it might help me if State Department put it forward and Congress declined or failed to act on it. The consequences out here of delays in receiving equipment, etc. would be negligible compared to the importance of possible favorable influence on these people of the refusal of Congress to act at this time.
Please quickly check my proposition with Acheson or Mr. Byrnes and inform me accordingly.2
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. Carter told Marshall that the China aid bill had been reported out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was likely to follow suit. Carter noted, however, that opposition to the bill in Congress would doubtless “cause a resurgence of press comment,” which Marshall had previously told President Truman caused “difficulty and embarrassment” in his negotiations. (Carter to Marshall, Radio No. WAR-94626, July 16, 1946, NA/RG 59 [Lot Files, Marshall Mission, Military Affairs, Carter Correspondence]. Regarding the publicity problem, see Marshall to Truman, June 26, 1946, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-486 [5: 606-7].) Marshall replied: “Bill should not be delayed due to publicity. We will ride that one out.” (Marshall to Carter, Radio No. GOLD 1139, July 18, 1946, NA/RG 59 [Lot Files, Marshall Mission, Military Affairs, GOLD Messages].)
Carter notified Marshall on July 18 that the State Department had put China aid on a list of six high-priority bills that it desired that Congress pass before its proposed July 27 adjournment. Opposition was growing in Congress to military cooperation bills in general, Carter noted, and no U.S. supplies or equipment could be transferred to the Chinese government except under authority of the aid bill, which would probably not pass without “a strong personal appeal” by Marshall to congressional leaders. Carter recommended that Marshall send such an appeal to the president, secretary of state, and six key members of Congress. (Carter to Marshall, Radio No. WAR-94906, July 18, 1946, NA/RG 59 [Lot Files, Marshall Mission, Military Affairs, Carter Correspondence].)
2. Carter replied on July 23 that Secretary of State Byrnes had expressed “his complete concurrence” with Marshall’s ideas. If the bill did come up for consideration, it would probably be defeated, Carter wrote; thus it should be allowed “to die quietly.” Marshall concurred. (Foreign Relations, 1946, 10: 754-55.) Regarding Chinese purchases of materiel, see Marshall to Carter, July 26, 1946, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-512 [5: 636-37].
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. 632-633.