5-348 To Harry S. Truman, February 4, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: February 4, 1946

Subject: China

To Harry S. Truman

February 4, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 148. [Chungking, China]

Top Secret

My Dear Mr. President:

Affairs are progressing rather favorably. The Political Consultative Conference did their job well and included enough of the details of the interim Constitution I had most confidentially given the Generalissimo to provide a fairly definite basis for a democratic coalition government. The approach to the constitutional convention appears sound.

As to the nationalization of the armies, demobilization—integration—and reorganization, I have secured the Generalissimo’s agreement to my proposals and two days ago outlined them to General Chou En-lai, the Communist leader. This afternoon he, Chou, spent two hours with me asking questions and then gave a general indication that he would go through with my plan, though I cannot be certain of this until a formal meeting is held tomorrow or next day. He is discussing the plan this evening with his opposite of the National Government. Apparently the prospects are favorable for a solution to this most difficult of all the problems.

I am getting lined up to expedite the formation of the coalition government if that proves necessary, but I am moving in a most inobtrusive manner. If agreement on the military reorganization is reached and genuine progress is made towards implementing the coalition government then I will be ready to propose the resumption or the initiation of discussions in the U.S. regarding financial loans. I am endeavoring to terminate the present higgling over the details of every transaction concerning lend-lease and surplus property, endeavoring to put it on a basis which will not be embarrassing to you politically.

I am collecting a small special staff to work out the details—schedules, instructions, procedure, etc.—concerned with the demobilization, integration and redeployment of the armies. When this is done and agreed to these U.S. officers will be transferred to the Executive Headquarters in Peking to form a new section of that staff which, as a whole, will be charged with the execution of the new military program. Also, as soon as the main details are settled here, Chou En-lai, Governor Chang Chun and I, the original Committee of Three, will tour the important points, meet the principal army commanders and staff officers and the three of us explain the plans and endeavor by our united presence to expedite the development of a cooperative and understanding procedure on the part of subordinate officials of both factions.

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.

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. 444.

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