893.00/9–2345: Telegram

The Ambassador in China ( Hurley ) to the Secretary of Stale

1649. Immediately prior to his departure for Washington, Ambassador Hurley dictated the following message for the Secretary of State: [Page 467]

“I concluded my last conference with the Government and Communist negotiators at 2:30 this morning.

The negotiators have agreed that they will collaborate for the establishment of a democratic government in China, for the reconstruction of China, and the prevention of civil war.
Both have agreed to support the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek as President of the Republic.
They have further agreed that both parties will support the doctrines of Sun Yat-sen and will cooperate for the establishment in China of a strong, united, democratic government.
The Communists have agreed that they will recognize the Kuo-mintang as the dominant party in control of the government and will cooperate with that party during the period of transition from the present form of government to a democratic regime.
Numerous other questions, including the release of political prisoners, freedom of person, speech, press, belief, assembly and association were agreed upon.

There are two important points on which the conferees are not yet in agreement, although both parties have made concessions towards making agreement possible. One point is that the Communists claim the right to appoint, select, or elect any Communist governors and mayors in certain provinces. The Government contends that until a constitution has been adopted and a democratic government inaugurated, the prerogative of appointing governors and officials is vested in the President of the Republic. The Government considers that this should not be changed until the transitory period from the present Government to a constitutional government has been achieved. Both parties agree to work together during the transitional period. The next point on which the parties have approached an agreement but have not finally agreed is the number of Communist troops that are to be included in the national peace-time army of China. The Communists first contended that they should have 48 Communist divisions. It was pointed out by the Government that the present plan calls for a peace-time army consisting of 80 to 100 divisions, and that the Communists, who, the Nationalists claim, are in a minority, are claiming the right to approximately one-half of the peace-time army. This, the Nationalists refuse to agree to, but they have offered the Communists 20 divisions, or what will constitute approximately one-fifth of the planned peace-time army. Chairman Mao Tse-tung said last night that they did not reject the offer but the Communists wanted to give it further consideration.

The over-all achievement in this conference has been to keep the Communists and the Nationalists talking peace-time cooperation during the period for which civil war has been predicted by nearly all of the elements who are supporting a policy to keep China divided against herself. The conferences will continue. Mao Tse-tung is remaining in Chungking. The Generalissimo has given Mao Tse-tung his word and pledged his character for the safe conduct of Mao Tse-tung and his party. He has agreed to give Mao Tse-tung and his party transportation to Yenan at any time they wish to discontinue the conference. Mao Tse-tung is satisfied with this pledge on the part of the Generalissimo.

We have rather complete minutes of the conference from its inception. We have not been advising the Department of the details for [Page 468] the reason that it was agreed at the beginning that no statement would be made by any of the parties to the conference until the conference is concluded or until a communiqué is approved by both parties. Consequently we respectfully request that the contents of this cable not be made public until a communiqué has been issued by the conferees.

I told the Communist and the Government negotiators last night that in my opinion they were attempting to settle too many details. I pointed out that an attempt to agree on all the details of reorganization of government and the organization of troops in advance would in all probability lead to interminable debate. I said that, if they could agree on basic over-all principles, details could be worked out in accordance with such principles.

The spirit between the negotiators is good. The rapprochement between the two leading parties of China seems to be progressing and the discussion and rumors of civil war recede as the conference continues.”

Ambassador Hurley had prepared to leave with General Wedemeyer on September 18 on what was considered by Wedemeyer, the Generalissimo and the Ambassador as an urgent mission to Washington. However, upon the earnest request of both parties he agreed to remain in China an additional 4 days to render assistance in reaching agreement.

For the Department’s information, both parties have expressed deep appreciation of the cooperation and assistance of the Ambassador. They have agreed upon a paragraph to be included in their proposed final resolution thanking the Ambassador for his great services to China in bringing about the conferences and for his general helpfulness as mediator during the negotiations.