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To Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer
May 13, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 682. [Nanking, China]
I received your letter May 4th.1 Reference your return China, make decision yourself on basis of health and recuperative rest alone which were my sole reasons for counciling delay of several months.
Timberman goes to Executive Headquarters at present time where he is needed. Attacheship is later consideration. Other colonel vacancy will be retained.2
Reference Cadillacs Handy is sending three new ones out to arrive in July.
House is luxuriously comfortable.3
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. Wedemeyer had written that his sinus operation had been a complete success and that he was in excellent health. He urged Marshall to permit him to return to China as soon as possible. “If I delay too long I may jeopardize the position of confidence and complete responsibility that the Generalissimo has conferred and thereby weaken the contribution that I might make toward attaining the objectives of our government.” (Wedemeyer to Marshall, May 4, 1946, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [China Mission, General].)
2. As presumptive ambassador, Wedemeyer was concerned that the embassy’s Military Attaché Section was being staffed without his participation. He wrote that he understood that Marshall had selected Brigadier General Thomas S. Timberman to be the military attaché and that one of the section’s two colonel’s positions had been filled. He asked that the second remain vacant “for future consideration.” (Ibid.) Timberman, who had held a number of posts in the Southeast Asia Command between February 1944 and March 1946, had recently arrived in Peiping to become director of operations and commander of the U.S. forces at Executive Headquarters.
3. Wedemeyer expressed his regret that the automobile he had ordered to Nanking for Marshall’s use had not functioned well and his hope that Marshall was enjoying “the lovely house which the Generalissimo had set aside for us in Nanking.” In commenting on events in Washington, Wedemeyer noted that “there is plenty of evidence that the Navy wants to retain large forces both sea and land in the Asiatic area” and desired that their senior officer in the region be in command there. He also expressed his dismay over the political considerations that were delaying passage of the military unification bill. “My experiences in Washington, political and military, would indicate definitely and more strongly than ever that you should take the post as Secretary of State, and when the time comes for the nomination of a Presidential candidate, you should accept same. We need leadership of the calibre you and you alone are capable of giving during this critical period in our country’s history. Your abject humility in approaching problems disarms the opposition and your experience in coping with problems both national and international would do something constructive toward bringing about clear-cut solutions of problems.” (Ibid.)
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 554–555.