5-596 To Harry S. Truman, November 16, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: November 16, 1946

Subject: China

To Harry S. Truman

November 16, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 1765. [Nanking, China]

Top Secret

Dear Mister President:

The National Assembly convened November 15 with a decidedly limited representation from non-Kuomintang ranks. Some more delegates from non-party men and Young China Party were submitted last night I understand. While Doctor Stuart attended as US Ambassador, I thought it best for me to be absent as I did not wish it to appear that I concurred with the Government in its approach to this Assembly. Doctor Stuart’s presence I felt took care of the diplomatic requirements.

The Assembly is proceeding on a rather tentative basis for the first two weeks. Just what this will mean remains to be seen. The delay of three days from the original date, November 12, secured the promise of attendance by some Third Party men, but not all. It had the effect of disrupting the unity of action of the Third Party Group and seriously weakened its influence for good in acting as a balance between the two dominant parties.

General Chou En-lai called on me this morning. (a) He wished transportation for himself and nine others to Yenan on Monday. Today is Saturday. I agreed. He stated he was leaving Tung Pi-wu and thirty-nine others here in Nanking as a liaison group and he was reporting to Yenan to reanalyze the situation with the party governing group. (b) He wished Executive Headquarters continued for the present even though there was little it could do. I agreed. (c) He feared a large offensive operation against Yenan. If this took place Communists at Executive Headquarters in Peiping and Changchun and in Nanking and Shanghai would have to be evacuated for safety. Where to would have to be decided later. Would I assist. I accepted obligation to evacuate by plane to place of safety where appropriate field was available for these Communist people. All along I had felt that this was my obligation as I had been largely responsible for their presence in Government controlled cities. (d) He felt that an attack on Yenan meant the termination of all hope for a negotiated peace. I have no information of Government plans for attack on Yenan and would deplore such action and would oppose it strongly. If initiated I would feel that it terminated my mission.

Doctor Stuart left for Peiping this noon and returns Tuesday or Wednesday.

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), pp. 745-746.

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