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To the Joint Chiefs of Staff
February 23, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 231. [Chungking, China]
General Wedemeyer will shortly propose inactivation of China Theater May 1st. Matters thereafter can be readily handled on a temporary basis by MAG [Military Advisory Group] and Seventh Fleet. I regard this action as very important to my mission as demobilization and integration procedure of Chinese armed forces carries Executive Headquarters action into Manchuria.1 In the same connection, I am hopeful that I may be justified in proposing start of withdrawal of all of marines except transport air, housekeeping and small guard details, at an early date, possibly April 1st.2 Growing Manchurian crisis with its inevitable effect on Kuomintang distrust of Communist purposes or good faith complicates my problem and position in this matter.
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 February 25 President Truman issued a directive establishing a joint army-navy Military Advisory Group for China with a maximum strength of one thousand persons. The president ordered the State Department to conduct the negotiations with the Chinese concerning the MAG. (Truman Directive, February 25, 1946, NA/RG 319 [P&O, 091 China, Item 5].) On March 26 the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved document J.C.S. 1330/21, which stated that the China Theater would become inactive on May 1. (Memo for the Record, April 1, 1946, NA/RG 319 [P&O, 384 TS, Sec. 1, Case 9, Item 15].)
2. The rate of Marine withdrawal slowed during the spring and summer; there were still twenty-two thousand in China in late September. See Marshall to Under Secretary of State, September 25, 1946, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-559 [5: 692].
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. 468-469.