5-329 To Harry S. Truman, January 16, 1946

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

Subject: China

To Harry S. Truman

[January 16, 1946] Radio No. GOLD 60. [Chungking, China]

Top Secret

Dear Mr. President:

Since issuance of orders for cessation of hostilities strenuous and immediate efforts have been made to build up Executive Headquarters in Peiping of some 125 officers and 300 men, with radios, planes, jeeps, trucks, etc. to enforce and coordinate execution of order and get started on reconstruction of communications, organization of railroad military guards and evacuation of Japanese. Difficulty of assembling quota of Communist officers has been main stumbling block with poor radio communications to their scattered commanders. Meanwhile commanders on the ground have pushed ahead in many instances to get every advantage of final positions. Severe fighting has resulted. Both sides appeal to me. I think I have the situation in hand now, with improved condition in Peking Executive Headquarters and additional and peremptory instructions I have gotten each side to issue from Chungking. Also I have now gotten agreements to refrain from press comments. The distances are great, the areas tremendous and the communications miserable or completely lacking. We are using 15 Marine planes today dropping leaflet instructions in all troubled areas. Chinese planes insufficient for this purpose. I hope that by tomorrow peace will really reign over China.

Another subject: For nationalization of all Chinese armies a Committee of Three was tentatively agreed upon last fall but a meeting could not be obtained. My committee for cessation of hostilities signed an urgent recommendation to Generalissimo and Communist leader to convene committee.1 It will probably meet within the next few days. Generalissimo proposes me as advisor of committee. I think Communist will probably accept me, but I will know shortly. This is the most difficult problem of all and the great fundamental requirement for a peaceful China. I have not repeat not yet disclosed my views on a method to accomplish this objective and will not repeat not until I see how far the two sides can succeed in getting together.

Another subject: For present public negotiations or debates regarding procedure to form a coalition government seem to be proceeding with fair prospect of successful agreement and implementation. I am holding aloof on this so far until an impasse appears to be reached.

There are hundreds of details involved in these matters all delicate and of great importance but details nevertheless. I am trying to treat them and handle them accordingly.

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. On the order convening the “Military Sub-Committee,” see Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 188-89.

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. 423-424.

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