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To Harry S. Truman
November 23, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 1804. [Nanking, China]
Dear Mister President:
The National Assembly has not yet proceeded far enough to give clear indication of its course though reactionary KMT leaders’ domination is evident. Meanwhile I am awaiting communication from Chou En-lai at Yenan. His representative called on Stuart yesterday deeply concerned over threat of all out Government attack on Yenan and question as to whether we were continuing to exert our influence to compose the situation. Chou En-lai is committed to make a report to me as to whether or not the Communist Central Committee desire me personally to continue my efforts in mediation and so far I have had no word. He saw me for a lengthy interview two days before he left and called formally with his wife the evening before he left.
Meanwhile I have held aloof from the Generalissimo. The Deputy President of the Executive Yuan has been pressing me in the matter of financial assistance to meet the growing desperation of the economic situation. I have been very emphatic in stating to him that it is useless to expect the US to pour money into the vacuum being created by the military leaders in their determination to settle matters by force, almost 90 percent of the budget itself highly inflationary, going to military expenditures. Also that it was useless to expect the US to pour money into a Government dominated by a completely reactionary clique bent on exclusive control of governmental power.
I am leaving for Tientsin this morning to talk to General Howard1 regarding immediate reduction of Marine forces to a level of about five thousand. I am trying to accomplish this now while there is no pressure no heat over some minor crisis, and also because the larger force is of no particular advantage and merely increases the chances of trouble. From Tientsin I will go over to Peiping to arrange some adjustments there in Executive Headquarters, returning here about 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.
1. Major General Samuel L. Howard commanded the First Marine Division and all other Marines in China.
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. 749.