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To the Under Secretary of State1
September 25, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 1556. [Nanking, China]
Last night, Tuesday, a representative of Minister Wang of Foreign Office called to inform me of Gromyko Soviet official statement regarding presence of Marines in China and requested advice as to instructions to be sent to Chinese representative in Paris.2 On my statement that I would wish first to receive advice from you, I was told that instructions must be radioed Paris last night. I then counseled statement that Marines were in China under the sanction repeat sanction of the Chinese Government, that their original purpose under armistice agreements was to facilitate and expedite repatriation of 2,500,000 Japanese in China, that this repatriation had virtually been completed and the Marines at present were safeguarding the operation of the Tientsin-Chinwangtao Railroad to insure the transport of vitally necessary coal, and that they were further concerned in providing for the maintenance and the security of the numerous individual Americans of Executive Headquarters in Peiping engaged in the effort to promote peace in China. Further, that the original strength of some 55,000 had been reduced to 22,000 and was steadily being reduced week by week.
The representative of the Foreign Office did not think they would use the facts about the railroad mission and possibly other details. I counseled a frank statement of facts devoid of explanations. I will try to ascertain the actual instructions dispatched. I trust that my advice will prove to be in accordance with the considered action of the State Department.
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. Under Secretary of State Dean G. Acheson was on a trip to Canada; William L. Clayton was acting secretary, so Colonel Marshall Carter sent the message to him.
2. Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Shih-chieh was China’s chief delegate at the Paris Peace Conference (July 29 to October 15, 1946). On September 23, Andrei A. Gromyko (U.S.S.R. ambassador to the United States and chairman of the Soviet delegation to the United Nations Security Council conference at Lake Success, New York) requested that the council consider a resolution he had introduced on August 29 directing U.N. members to report the number and location of their forces in all except former enemy countries. The resolution was aimed at the United States and United Kingdom, and Gromyko charged that their troops were causing unease in the countries where they were stationed (e.g., China, Iceland, Iraq, Indonesia, Panama, Brazil, Greece, and Egypt); he cited various persons’ objections to the continued presence of these troops. It was clear, he said, that U.S. troops were no longer needed in China to aid in disarming and repatriating the Japanese, and they were aiding one side in the civil war. This was “a question which does not concern China and the United States of America alone.” (New York Times, September 24, 1946, pp. 1, 18.)
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. 692.