Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Notes on Meeting of Conference of Three (Meeting No. 6)—General Marshall, General Chang Chun, Central Government Representative, and General Chou En-lai, Communist Party Representative—at General Marshall’s Residence, Chungking, January 10, 1946, 3:10 p.m.

M[arshall]: If agreeable to you, the meeting will come to order. I have here the agreed copy of the cease firing order,67 one addressed [Page 120]to the Generalissimo and one addressed to Chairman Mao Tse-tung. I suggest that we sign these now if that is agreeable. Is that agreeable?

G[eneral Chang]: Yes.

C[hou]: Yes.

M: I will make delivery of this to the Generalissimo through the Governor. I will make delivery of this for Chairman Mao Tse-tung through General Chou. Colonel Byroade has given you each two copies, one of the one to the Generalissimo, and one of the one to Chairman Mao Tse-tung.

I have here now the copy of the instructions for the executive headquarters68 which similarly requires signatures. In this case, the signature of only the two of you. This copy is for the record. If agreeable to you, I will take up next the request on the Generalissimo and the request on Chairman Mao Tse-tung for certain action on their part to establish the executive headquarters.69 The first one is a memorandum from the three members of this committee to the Generalissimo requesting certain action on his part and informing him of the general necessities.

G: Colonel Byroade is leaving tomorrow.

M: You might explain to the General the only way I know how to begin is to commence. There is one sentence in here that is incorrect. The first paragraph70 on page 2. The last sentence of that paragraph, I will furnish a C–54 should read “General Marshall will provide his C–54 aircraft” and we will change that now. There is no “I” in this, it is all “we”. That is for the whole thing.

C: On the second paragraph, second page, there is also an I.

M: There is another I down here in the second. Colonel Byroade says that someone was asleep. May I have all copies of that document. What happened was he wrote it for me and I objected and thought we should all three sign it and the corrections were on a piece basis.

G: We would like to ask a question about the second paragraph on the second page. [“]The National Government and the Communist Party staff should at least from the beginning have 40 officers and 90 enlisted men.[”] Is that together?

M: No. Each.

G: Do you think we need the word each.

M: Yes. Has General Chou any comments?

C: No.

[Page 121]

G: Each side would have at most—40. Then we can have less officers and men?

M: I think it would be best to send them. They have a place for all of those men. So far, when you consider those that will have to be in the offices to keep all of your business moving in Peking, and those who will be scattered around in the field absent a long time on particular trips to certain points, Canton, for example, it will require quite a number of people. We didn’t want too many, but we must have a certain number to begin with and then build up from that point. I should explain that the instruction as to the date of arrival, while it looks like an unnecessary detail, I had it put in there very definitely for the reason that I did not want a confusion of individuals arriving before the preliminary arrangements had been made. I had in mind that we might make a very bad beginning. If three or four men arrived from the two sides without accommodations presently designated, they might easily be offended if they thought they didn’t get exactly the place they were entitled to at the moment. Therefore, I wanted the preliminary arrangements made first so that everything would proceed in a very deliberate and orderly manner, because we must not start with hurt feelings and frankly I imagine a great many will arrive with a “chip on their shoulder”.

C: General Chou raised the question of the communications facilities because the Communist staff members are scattered in several provinces and we want now to centralize them. They are now located in Kwangtung, Kiangsu, Shansi and he was wondering if you could help him.

M: We will try to do that and if you have your representative see Colonel Byroade and make arrangements, or if you have them see Colonel Caughey we will make every effort to help you in that.

I have here another communication which is to the Generalissimo only.71 It is in regard to accommodations and supplies in Peiping. Will you please read it, Gentlemen, and see if it appears to be all right.

G: Who is the commandant.

M: The commandant is, in effect, the mayor. He is the man to whom you make all your complaints. Purely an administrative man. The purpose of this next paragraph is to make certain that the officer in Peiping actually has received the order. If it is issued here by the Generalissimo so that on arriving Colonel Byroade will have the order, it might save an embarrassing delay. If the Generalissimo’s order to Peiping is delayed and Col. Byroade receives a copy here he will have a copy when he arrives there and there won’t be any confusion, [Page 122]and in one sense that will be Colonel Byroade’s authorization for operating there. Is there any objection?

G: No objection.

C: No.

M: I make delivery of this to the Generalissimo to Colonel Pee through the Governor. That is a copy for the Executive Headquarters.

G: The Governor is asking about the signed copy, the signed agreement relating to the executive headquarters. Will that be kept in your files.

M: We gave you a copy.

G: Yes.

M: I was going to keep that in the official records. Does he wish to have a copy of this signed. We can make as many more formal copies as are needed and circulate them for signature. We can make as many as are needed.

G: We will just sign these copies.

G: Would you want a copy of the Chinese text. You may have one.

M: That ought to be in the original record. I should think it would be a good thing. While we are waiting for the exceptions and understandings to be typed and the retyping of that badly written document, would it be agreeable to you gentlemen to allow these photographers to get a photograph of the actual signing. Is that all right.

G: Yes.

C: Yes.

M: Now before the photographers come in, I would like to say this. I think the best thing to do is to have two photographs at least taken with the Governor sitting there signing and General Chou and myself standing and then with General Chou signing and with the Governor and myself standing.

Photographs of Signing

M: This treaty has more signatures than any one treaty in history, but we are going to do this up thoroughly. We used to refer to the first war as the war of papers, but this is a war of papers as well.

M: Now I make delivery of this letter to Chairman Mao Tse-tung through General Chou and I make delivery of this letter to the Generalissimo through the Governor and that completes the business as far as I can see. Is there any other business that we should bring up at this moment.

G: (General Chang passed copy of Chinese text to General Marshall)

M: I receive these two papers in Chinese of the order for the cessation of hostilities and the instructions for the executive headquarters.

[Page 123]

G: This is the translation of your letter addressed to the Generalissimo containing a proposed order.

G: This is the executive headquarters.

M: And also the extracts from the minutes of the four exceptions, all in Chinese, are accepted for the record.

G: The Chinese equivalent for executive headquarters is literally “Military Adjustment Executive Headquarters”.

M: Military Adjustment Executive Headquarters. It will be so recorded.

G: That is the executive headquarters.

M: That is the title for your headquarters (to Colonel Byroade).

G: As a result of the personal talks between General Chang and General Chou it has been now agreed that there would be period of three days terminating on the 13, inclusive, during which both sides will issue orders for the actual cessation of hostilities so that on the following day, on the 14th, all hostilities will be expected to have ceased, at least in all the large cities, all the cities, which the order will have reached so there will be no violations.

M: I am very glad to hear that conclusion. Now, if agreeable to you gentlemen, I suggest for the immediate future of our affairs, that at your convenience when you have finished checking the minutes, you send them to me with your noted corrections and I will have those corrections for the presentation of each side made on the other copy so that at a meeting to be decided on later we can formally pass on the minutes.

I wish to question you two gentlemen as to whether you care to enter into an agreement to notify the executive headquarters on its creation that it is the desire of this committee that the commissioners of the executive headquarters send a group of three representatives to Chihfeng and Tolun to report on conditions as they exist at the time. Is that acceptable?

C: General Chou made a suggestion that the delegation not only go to Chihfeng and Tolun but also to other places in Jehol and Chahar, for example, Kalgan to investigate the actual condition.

M: I will amend my proposal to read they will send a group to Jehol and Chahar to report on conditions as they exist at that time.

G: At which time?

M: When they left. Is that agreeable?

C: I agree.

G: That is agreeable.

M: That is so ordered. For convenience may I be authorized, once that has been prepared, to sign for the committee or do you wish it circulated to each one of you for signature. You can authorize me [Page 124]to sign that to the executive headquarters for the three of you or I could send it to Governor Chang and General Chou, to have their signatures as well as mine. Tell them to strike that out. I will have that resolution drafted and will submit it to you in your headquarters and to you at your headquarters, General Chou, for your approval and for your signature. In that way we may possibly be able to avoid a meeting for that one document. If there is disagreement, of course, we will have to have a meeting. I have in mind that we must have a meeting to conclude the minutes for our records and then to decide on whether or not we adjourn without further discussion.

G: The resolution is to have the executive headquarters send a committee of three to Jehol and Chahar?

M: To report on conditions as they find them at that time.

G: Have the resolution signed by all three?

M: To avoid a meeting I will send it to your headquarters.

G: How will the resolution be forwarded to the executive headquarters? Will it be sent by a letter.

M: If your commissioners are here, then I will turn it over to the commissioners.

G: With a covering letter?

M: However you so desire, but it will be signed by all three of us. If it is prepared and signed before they leave, then I think it will be sent with them. If you agree to the form of the resolution you will just sign the paper otherwise we will have to have a meeting. We should have a meeting to see that the minutes are correct, and to determine whether or not the committee ceases and of what action we have taken. Is there any further business you gentlemen wish to discuss tonight?

C: No.

M: The meeting is adjourned.

M: One moment before we do adjourn, I wish to say this. This has been a very difficult problem and I think we all agree on that and I am profoundly grateful for the manner in which you have cooperated to produce a peaceful conclusion. I felt very uncertain of my position and my future in this conference and I fully realized not only the importance of the issue to China but the responsibility I bore to my own government in the matter. Now I repeat again, I am profoundly grateful for your cooperation with me and I wish to express my extreme pleasure that we have reached so successful a conclusion. I think it bids very fair for the future and I think it may be looked upon in general as a very important foundation stone in achieving an effective unity for China, which of course means a great deal to the future peace of the world. Thank you very much.

G: I already expressed my thanks to you, General Marshall, for [Page 125]what you have done and I would take this opportunity to reemphasize my grateful thanks to you for all your assistance. I am quite confident that your efforts have not been in vain and they have not only produced immediate results, but will even achieve greater results in the future, not only for the benefit of China but for the peace of the world. I am happy to recall that Colonel Byroade cooperated with us in the building of airdromes in Changtu year before last. I am very pleased to see Colonel Byroade here again cooperating with us in a greater task and I wash to congratulate him on the success which has crowned his efforts.

B: Will you thank the General very much for that expression.

C: I wish, accordingly, to express my thanks to General Marshall for his assistance and fair dealing and I also believe that General Marshall will be of great help to the cause of Chinese people and to the establishment of peace and I also may [give?] thanks to Colonel Byroade, Mr. Shepley and the others who cooperated in this joint effort. It is my hope that cooperation between the Government and the Communist party as is expressed here will be continued.

  1. Infra.
  2. For text, see United States Relations With China, p. 627.
  3. For text of request, see document No. 71 (b), ibid., p. 629.
  4. Of the memorandum on the organization of Executive Headquarters, p. 9.
  5. Memorandum by the Committee of Three to President Chiang, p. 128.