5-367 To Frank McCarthy, February 22, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: February 22, 1946

Subject: China

To Frank McCarthy

February 22, 1946 Chungking, China

Dear Frank:

Katherine sent me a letter of yours to Sally which gave me your address and some knowledge of your present situation.1 I am very glad that you are so pleasantly situated and occupied. However, I fear a little the proximity of so many dizzy blondes and animated brunettes. Pardon the liberty of the warning, but please remember that bachelors of your age with a wide experience in meeting attractive women very frequently end up by falling for the poorest bet of all. I have seen this happen time after time, and have never evolved a logical explanation of the proceedure—except that good swimmers frequently drown, they are too certain of themselves.

Some one, Shepley, I believe, remarked the other day that you were a confirmed bachelor, and would never marry. I would be very sorry if he is proven right. A wife is a very necessary part of the balance of life in a man. His judgment and efficiency will always lack, otherwise. I seem to be off on an orgy of preaching for some reason.

I started Shepley home last week. His time was up on his leave, but I hated to see him go, for he was a great assistance to me during critical periods of my negotiations.

I hope to complete the negotiations for the nationalization of the armies this afternoon. Then, if the Gimo approves the committee agreement—he had previously approved the outline of my plan—the “deed is done”. He has been away for ten days and returns day after tomorrow.

I next go on an inspection tour to Peking to see the Executive Headquarters which does all the business, and then to a mumber of isolated points where the Communists and Nationalists have been engaged. We will meet all the principal field commanders and explain the next steps—demobilization, reorganization and integration. I will be accompanied by the other members of the Committee—Communist Chou En-lai and Nationalist Chang Chih Chung.

Most confidentially, I then plan to make a quick trip home to be gone about four or five weeks in all. In Washington I will work on loans, surplus property, shipping, etc.

I hope to bring Mrs. M. back with me for the remaining months of my stay—until about August or September. I am going to try and have Wedemeyer made Ambassador to take my place. He will go home immediately on my return here to have a sinus operation and a rest until the early fall.

I have forced so many compromises on both sides that I am in the awkward position of being obligated by pressure from both sides to stay on and maintain a balance between the mistrusts of the two parties in their attempt to make a coalition government work.

I have lost most of the people I brought out. Byroade is Executive of the headquarters in Peking and I gave him my Master Sgt, who took Powder’s place. Shepley has gone home, which only leave me WO [Warrant Officer] Hickey of O.P.D.—now a first lieutenant, and Sgt. Wing I had at Ft Myer as cook.2 Write and tell me how you are making out.

Faithfully yrs.

G. C. M.

Document Copy Text Source: Frank McCarthy Papers, Correspondence 1946-49, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.

1. McCarthy had written to Sally Chamberlin to tell her of his new job address (Motion Picture Association of America in Hollywood, California) and some of his adventures in Los Angeles. (McCarthy to Chamberlin, February 1, 1946, GCMRL/F. McCarthy Papers [Correspondence, 1946-49].) After his health caused him to resign from the State Department in October 1945, McCarthy had undergone ten weeks of hospitalization and treatment for “anemia, low blood pressure, and a shoulder ailment called Bursitis.” (McCarthy to Byron Price, January 1, 1946, ibid.) When he learned that Marshall was going to China, McCarthy volunteered his services: “I would gladly, even eagerly, forego any other future possibility if I could be of assistance to you.” Marshall replied that he would like to have him, but it would “be doing you a very bad service to shorten your convalescence.” (C. G. Heitzeberg Memorandum for General Marshall, November 28, 1945, quoting telephone messages, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) McCarthy had become assistant to the Motion Picture Association’s president on February 1.

2. Richard G. Hickey had been a chief warrant officer until January 1946. He served as Marshall’s secretary and attended many of the negotiating sessions. Sergeant Richard C. Wing, a Chinese American with relatives in the Canton region, was Marshall’s cook and orderly.

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. 466-468.

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