Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270: Telegram

Brigadier General Henry A. Byroade to General Marshall

45. Reports of conflicts were presented by both sides in commissioners meeting today with indicated bitterness. Central Government expressed firm belief that Communists were now launching the strongest sabotage and guerrilla campaign of the war against railway communications. Communists denied that such was case and cited violations by Central Government.

In every matter to date except one General Cheng of Central Government has agreed on all proposals submitted by U. S. His cooperation has been remarkable under circumstances. His one exception has been on matter of sending team to Canton and today he agreed to this.

General Yeh has in many matters sought delay. Experience here is direct contrast to conferences in Chungking where Chou En-lai was willing to agree on all small matters and Governor Chang fought the small issues. General Yeh appears sincere but am beginning to doubt his ability. So far he has poor staff and it appears that Communists are generally weak in staff procedure and ability to handle large scale military problems. This can probably be attributed to the guerrilla nature of their past operations.

Both sides are especially eager to get teams to the areas where they are outnumbered and have reason to fear the other side. For instance the type and number of objections of Central Government to sending team to Canton was in my opinion due to their obvious ability to handle this situation and slowly displace Communists. I myself think that the Canton situation can never become serious because of lack of organized Communist strength in that area.

Central Government meanwhile is urging more teams for north China. Although additional teams in this area would undoubtedly be to the Government’s advantage I feel that the major issues are there and that the need for the teams definitely exists.

Am beginning to doubt the ability of the Communists’ leaders to control their various guerrilla bands. This is opinion which has not yet been verified from field reports. While Central Government of [Page 370] course has better control it may be as well that their local leaders are trying to get last minute gains without authority.

Last night Robertson had dinner with Madame.95 We did not know she had arrived and I was not located until later in the evening. I explained situation as regards field teams, leaflet dropping, etc., and this morning gave her a memo covering the same points. I expressed few opinions and reported display of apparent sincerity and general enthusiasm by personnel of all groups without dwelling on our difficulties.

Your plan that we remain small for early operation has been sound. It has not been possible however to study our detailed needs. Our coverage of North China leaves many blank spots in areas of importance. Am sending officer tomorrow to see Wedemeyer and present requisition for approximately twice the personnel in the original plan.

Realize that daily reports to the Generalissimo and Mao from this Hqs are not entirely satisfactory. The results you see are those agreed to by all three parties. As organization and confidence grow hope to improve the quality.

  1. Madame Chiang Kai-shek.