5-503 To General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, July 14, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: July 14, 1946

Subject: China

To General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower

July 14, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 1116. [Nanking, China]


At the present time I cannot say when my negotiations might be completed in China or when I might return to the United States. My tenure of office in China is not indefinite and I wish to return to the States before the middle of September.

Whether or not it would be desirable politically for General Wedemeyer to replace me at that time cannot now be predicted. Another question is the desire of the Generalissimo with regard to Wedemeyer’s services as his Chief of Staff. I have not discussed Wedemeyer at all with the Generalissimo. I doubt the advisability of having a United States Chief of Staff in view of Communists’ present anti-American campaign. Please discuss situation with Wedemeyer and get his views for me. Incidentally, I do not need his assurances that he will willingly and cheerfully do anything I think might be helpful. I know that to be a fact.

I suggest that you give him such choice as possible for a home assignment but I would prefer that no announcement be made for several weeks so as to avoid if possible insinuations that he has been sacrificed to Communist pressure. I anticipate that he need not return here, but cannot state this conclusively at this time.1

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. After reading Marshall’s message, Wedemeyer told Deputy Chief of Staff Thomas Handy: “I do not think that I should be returned to China in any capacity in the immediate or distant future unless U.S. policy is modified radically. In other words, if the United States elected to support the Central Government unqualifiedly and refused to recognize the Communists or any other political group within China and announced that the settlement of internal affairs in China were the sovereign rights and complete responsibility of the recognized government of China and that the United States would not interfere or brook interference on the part of any other Nation.” (Wedemeyer to Handy, July 15, 1946, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 091 China (July 15, 1946)].) Handy, replying for Eisenhower, said that Wedemeyer “feels that he should not be employed in any capacity in China under existing conditions,” that there should no longer be an American chief of staff to the Generalissimo, and that as Generalissimo and Madame Chiang had written to Wedemeyer asking when he would return to China, Wedemeyer would tell them that he would not be returning. (Handy to Marshall, Radio No. WARX-94527, July 15, 1946, NA/RG 59 [Lot Files, Marshall Mission, War Department, Wedemeyer File].)

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. 628-629.

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