Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Minutes of Meeting of Military Sub-Committee, March 17, 1946, 8 a.m.

Present: General Chang
General Chou
General Gillem
Also present: General Lee
General Kuo
General Hsu
Colonel Pee
General Tung
Mr. Chang
Colonel Caughey
Capt. Enff

General Gillem: I am leaving today and I understand General Chang is leaving and I hope we can leave with a free mind.

General Chang: That is the hope of General Chang. He will probably remain in Chungking until Thursday.

General Gillem: I hope that will have no bearing on this morning’s business. By nature I am very optimistic and hope things will work out. If the two gentlemen are ready I am ready to proceed.

General Chou: How about the signature of the directive to the Executive Headquarters.

(General Chang left at this point for a telephone call.)

General Gillem to General Chou: I had a talk last night with General McConnell24 about the possibilities of increasing the contact by means of light aircraft with the different field teams. We had been discussing that upon the trip and I hope that we can make some arrangements when I get to Peking. That will be of great assistance in communicating between the teams and for the team officers to go from point to point where it is very difficult by automobile.

Could I speak to General Chang a minute outside here. It is about [Page 567]a little business we have down below. (General Chou and General Gillem left the room for a moment and then returned followed by General Chang.)

General Chang: General Chang is very sorry to interrupt the meeting.

General Gillem: He is a busy man and we have plenty of time.

General Chang: Should the Chinese copy of the directive be signed as well.

(Committee then signed directive to Executive Headquarters on reorganization.)25

General Gillem: If the gentlemen are ready, we will proceed with this uncompleted business.

General Chang: Is it concerning the sending of field teams into Manchuria?

General Gillem: I think that that is the thing we should clear up if it is agreeable to you gentlemen.

General Chang: First of all, General Chang likes to describe to you those talks he has had with General Chou. On the eve of day before yesterday, General Chang and General Chou talked on the draft and they agreed on the first three paragraphs. Regarding paragraphs 4 and 5 General Chang is in favor of the original draft by General Marshall with omission of the first sentence of paragraph 5, but General Chou finds it difficult to agree with that. General Chang asked General Chou what he would like to have the paragraphs 4 and 5 read. General Chou proposed a new paragraph 4 and 5 and with additional paragraph 6. General Chou’s revised paragraph 4 reads something like the following. “For the restoration of sovereignty in Manchuria, Government troops are authorized to take over those localities evacuated by Soviet troops now including the railway zone of the Changchun railway, on both sides of the railway. If it becomes necessary for the Government troops to enter into those localities now garrisoned by Communist troops then it must be done by discussion.” The proposed paragraph 6: “The future garrison area in Manchuria should be fixed according to the reorganization plan.” It ended with the understanding that General Chou will report those paragraphs to Yenan and meanwhile General Chang will have detailed discussion of those paragraphs with responsible Government departments. Then General Chang brought up some proposed amendments on General Chou’s proposal. In paragraph 4, the original reads: “For the restoration of sovereignty in Manchuria, Government troops are authorized to take over those localities now evacuated by Soviet troops including the railway zone.” General [Page 568]Chang proposed to change it. “For the restoration of sovereignty in Manchuria, Government troops are authorized to take over those localities evacuated by Soviet troops.” Omitting the word “now” “and including railway zones”. Those localities and railway zones should be garrisoned by Government troops only. “The Communist troops shall not enter those localities and those railway zones.”

General Gillem: Is that the amendment suggested by General Chang?

General Chang: Yes.

General Gillem: What was the reaction?

General Chang: I think General Chou will give the reactions. In other words, General Chou’s proposed amendment is to delete the word “now” and the most specific statement that Communist troops shall not enter those localities and those railway zones. If it becomes necessary for the Government troops to enter those localities and railway zones we mentioned in paragraph 4 held by Communist troops those movements should be done through the field team but for the restoration of sovereignty in Manchuria. Those localities which must be occupied by the Government shall be determined in the Military Sub-Committee. Those localities which are vital for the restoration of sovereignty in Manchuria should be determined by the Military Sub-Committee, rather the Conference of Three. So the difference in General Chang’s and General Chou’s amendments lies in the fact that by General Chou’s proposal, if it becomes necessary for Government troops to enter those localities now held by Communist troops it should be held by discussion.

General Gillem: On the ground?

General Chang: That is not stated—just discussion.

General Chang’s statement says those movements should be done through the field team. That is an organization of three sides. The local affair will be determined by the field team. The general overall movements and dispositions then should be determined by the Military Sub-Committee in Chungking. Those localities vital for the restoration of sovereignty which must be held by Government troops should be determined by the Military Sub-Committee. General Chou’s idea is to make it more specific.

General Lee: General Chang’s amendment is that those localities does not include the places evacuated by Soviet troops nor include the railway zones. The railway zone and places evacuated by Soviet troops, if the government troops were to march into those places, those movements will not be done through discussion. Regarding General Chou’s proposed paragraph 6, that is the future disposition of troops in Manchuria, General Chang concurs with that with no other comments. General Chang’s last words with General Chou were that he [Page 569]hopes very much that General Chou will accept the original draft proposed by General Marshall. If General Chou will find it difficult to accept that draft he hopes that General Chou can accept the amended paragraphs 4 and 5. General Chang’s point of view is that his amendments in comparison of General Chou’s proposal does not differ in principle, the only difference is in some details. In paragraph 4, General Chou agrees in the statement that the Government is authorized to take over those localities evacuated by Soviet troops and the railway zone. General Chang likes to insert a next statement. “Communist troops shall not enter those localities and those railway zones”. That means the same but putting it more exact. In paragraph 5, General Chang’s amendments are just to describe how those discussions shall be held, that is, by the field teams. Last night General Chou still was of the opinion that in paragraph 4 that statement should be deleted. That is, the Communist troops shall not enter into those localities and those railway zones. It should be omitted. In paragraph 5 the sentence, “Apart from the above mentioned localities etc.” Just omit that sentence. So although General Chang and General Chou have had a long discussion, they still haven’t reached an agreement so General Chang is ready to hear your views and your comments on the proposals and counter-proposals.

General Gillem: Has General Chou any comments? Maybe he has changed his mind in the night.

General Chang: That was a statement that General Chang has made last night in parting. General Chang hoped that he would reconsider and change his mind overnight. General Chang hopes sincerely that General Chang [Chou] can accept the paragraphs in the amended form. If General Chou will be able to accept the amended form then agreement can be reached this morning and we can send instructions to the field teams immediately.

General Chou: Last Sunday, General Marshall has shown to me a draft of instructions to the Executive Headquarters.26 Presenting that draft, General Marshall has pointed out that the main ideas are included in the points 1, 4 and 5 which are the main conditions for the dispatch of the field teams. As we know, all the other field teams have had no condition imposed, nor was there any condition in General Marshall’s original proposal of sending teams to Yingkow. In presenting this draft, General Marshall told me that these conditions were put forward by the Government. On that occasion I stated the difficulties on my part as I have stated for several times in our discussion, that the difficulties mainly lie in the following two points. First, the separation of the political affairs from the military affairs. Second, [Page 570]if, under the present circumstances, the Government troops may go into any place which has been evacuated by the Soviet troops without consulting the Communists, then hostilities are bound to occur and cannot be stopped. In the subsequent discussions we have argued back and forth on these points without achieving result. Day before yesterday I discussed with General Chang trying to reach a first step compromise between ourselves so that we will have matters for the field team as a guiding principle. So we worked out the points 4 and 5 and 6 as General Chang has just reported. Point 4 has the purpose that it would assure the Government to take over the places evacuated by the Soviet troops. Point 5 is to protect the Communist troops that in case it becomes necessary for the Government troops to move into places garrisoned by them, that would be effected by mutual agreement. Further, point 6 is to insure the future in Manchuria saying that when the reorganization is going to be implemented a solution will be found for the redisposition of the troops. I further wish to state that the revised draft of instructions was actually prepared by General Chang and myself together and General Chang has asked me to put it down in words and it constitutes a compromise between both sides. It does not express simply the opinion of General Chou, but of course that compromise is subject to approval from the superior agencies of both sides. Now after discussion with the responsible person of the Government, then General Chang after the first revised draft27 agreed upon by the two Generals, General Chang has then prepared a second revised draft as General Chang has just reported which bears certain difference with the first revision. As General Chang has pointed out there are only two main differences. The fourth point states that places evacuated by Soviet troops the Communists should not move in. In accordance with this the Government troops are then entitled to move into any places which has ever been occupied by Soviet troops and which may now be occupied by the Communist troops. Under these circumstances the situation might arise that the Government forces would not [now?] move, not only into those places being evacuated by the Soviet troops, but would also move into places now under Communist control so hostilities are bound to occur. The second revised draft states that no consultation will be made with the Communists and therefore hostilities are also liable to occur. Our understanding of the present agreement regarding the instruction to the field team is that it is purely a temporary nature. In submitting such a draft we have in mind that it is difficult for the Government now to solve the whole question regarding Manchuria, both the military and the political affairs. Therefore, General [Page 571]Chang has assured that there will be some special agency to discuss between the Government and the Communist representatives on the political aspects of the Manchuria problem. Therefore, we are working to find out some interim arrangement so that the field teams can go there and start to work. Therefore, we reached an understanding that the Government forces would first take over places now being evacuated by the Soviet troops. As to the places now being occupied by the Communist forces, if it becomes necessary that the Government forces shall move in then that has to be effected by mutual agreement. Then we have the sixth point and which assures that in the future all the questions will be solved by redisposition of the troops. So our understanding was that this instruction is purely of a temporary nature just to serve the present purpose. Now the revised draft prepared by the Government seems unacceptable to me, because it has definitely fixed on all the points that have to be taken up later and it is not of an interim nature. I don’t want to take too much of General Gillem’s time. I only want to point out that the three points were actually compromises reached between General Chang and myself on evening of day before yesterday and now the Government did not approve that formula and has now forwarded a revised draft which is not acceptable to me. As I have only up to now reported to Yenan about the compromise draft reached between General Chang and myself and so far I have not obtained a reply. Still I am prepared to devote all my efforts to work for the acceptance of that proposal.

I have now in the meantime some new problems here and I find it very difficult to handle the affairs. Therefore, I have discussed with General Chang that he would do his best to try and secure acceptance of the Government to the compromise proposal we both reached, but apparently General Chang has great difficulty in doing so. Therefore, General Chang advocates that today either the original draft or the second draft prepared by the Government shall be accepted which puts me into a very difficult position. It appears to me that it is rather difficult to get results today and we don’t want to take too much of General Gillem’s time without achieving any substantial result. I still hope that the Government shall reconsider the compromise formula reached between both of us on day before yesterday and if that is not possible, then maybe it is advisable that we await for General Gillem’s return and then to take up the matter. It is most unfortunate but I am prepared to continue my efforts in solving that problem.

General Gillem: My time is not important. This is the important thing.

What is General Chang’s comment on the original compromise. Can he accept that now or does he have to modify it as later stated. [Page 572]Before he makes a comment I would like to just point out that I am sure that all are in agreement that it is desirable to get these teams in Manchuria at the earliest possible time. It would appear that the longer the delay were made, that more difficulties are likely to arise and if difficulties become general it is quite possible that the whole problem of reorganization might be jeopardized. It might not be possible to resolve those local problems if delay were extended. I trust that we can reach some agreement and get the teams on the field. Then [they] can lay the preliminary work for problems which this Committee, upon visiting the area later, may be empowered to solve. I simply make those comments because I hope that we can reach an agreement and get the teams on the ground, but I hesitate to report to General Marshall that we are unable to fulfill what seems to be the desire of both the parties when he departed. That is, to get the teams on the field at the earliest moment. Is there any comment from General Chang?

It would appear that subsequent to the original compromise that possibly additional matters have arisen which have forced General Chang to make a slight adjustment.

General Chang: No matter whether it is regarding a serious problem like this or even in private conversation he also holds himself responsible for what he said and General Chou just said that the proposal made on the day before yesterday was a compromise between General Chang and General Chou. It is not quite the fact. It is not quite a compromise. On the day before yesterday, General Chang made the remark that he hoped that the original draft may be agreed upon. Then General Chou expressed his difficulty to agree to that original draft so General Chang asked General Chou if he would like to draft the paragraph 4 and 5. Then General Chang had a discussion with General Chou over a few of the words. The main principles implied in the proposal are General Chou’s ideas. Anyway, General Chang and General Chou discussed the new proposal in a very free atmosphere. They both wanted to achieve some result very very much. They have to submit to their respective higher level for approval. General Chou hasn’t gotten any decision from Yenan yet but General Chang being near to the Government gets the Government’s amendments which he just reported this morning. When parting on day before yesterday, General Chang arranged with General Chou to communicate with telephone to see whether there is any possibility in getting the new proposal agreed so they could agree. Today General Chou thinks that the amended proposal and the original proposal present tremendous differences. From General Chang’s point of view there is only a difference of detailed points. The broad principle remains the same. Of course, there are different [Page 573]points of view so General Chang still hopes that his amended proposal can be accepted by General Chou.

In recording the talks General Chang has had with General Chou we are trying to find out—both of them are keen on reaching a compromise and just stated that when General Marshall was still here, when we presented the draft instructions it seems highly possible for the two parties to reach an agreement, and even as late as the evening of the 11th, General Chang and General Chou both wished to have a short talk in General Marshall’s house when they went to see General Marshall off in order to achieve an agreement, but then General Marshall was hurrying to the airfield and they haven’t got a chance to talk, so General Chou has to refer this matter for Yenan and the reply was in the negative. That is why a new proposal was brought up by General Chou. After that the Government put some amendments in that and made an amended proposal. It may be that the two sides have different points of view, but General Chang is also trying to convince General Chou that with provision of paragraph 6, it seems that no matter how we write paragraphs 4 or 5 or stick to the original draft or use the amended form, it will not make a great issue in the future. General Chou is in favor of taking the new proposal as basis of discussion and General Chang is in favor of taking General Marshall’s original draft as the basis of discussion.

General Gillem: How does that appeal to General Chou? We have agreed upon 1, 2 and 3. By the acceptance of which we have eliminated one of the features that was brought up[,] that is, the separation of political and the military because the field team has been told that their mission will prescribe only the military. So we have eliminated one of the points of issue. That may be apparent.

General Chou: The first one had been modified by General Chou.

General Gillem: I was reading in accordance with the original agreement. It would be modified in accordance with instruction from Peiping. I discussed that already with him one minute before he left and he said that in his opinion that was what we call in America “passing the buck”. In other words, the settlement should be made here and not put it to some lower headquarters.

General Chou: According to the compromise reached by the two Generals, it has no bearing with the political matters. Stipulated in all the six points. Therefore it would not put the Executive Headquarters in a position that it has to be involved in political affairs.

General Gillem: The thing that occurs to me is that if the Executive Headquarters gets that particular specific directive and worked out their plan to publish that they might instruct the field team in a way that might not be acceptable to the three here. So it would seem desirable to specify military for the time being and let the political be [Page 574]settled subsequently here. For that reason I suggested the original draft which automatically separates the political from the military. They settled only on the ground the separation of the forces—cessation of fighting. Subsequently we should settle any political or economical questions in area which they have separated. Were I a local commander and I received a directive like this, I would say that under paragraph one I was granted broad powers, concurrently with the mission in accordance with instructions given me by Peiping. If we separate the original 1, 2 and 3, we have automatically separated the political and the military. Then by a general instruction in paragraph 3 we direct them to make interim instructions which cover the commander in part and would prepare the way for our coming up. If we can come to some agreement on a broad principle as to 4 and we have already deleted by agreement the first sentence of 5, we have added paragraph 6, we may be reaching some type of agreement that is agreeable to both parties. I would like the comments on my comment.

General Chou: General Chou thinks regarding the first point is not so very important and if General Gillem thinks that the clause that the field teams should carry out missions in accordance with the instructions of the Executive Headquarters would impose upon the Executive Headquarters too heavy a responsibility then of course we may revise it to say that the teams will carry out their missions in accordance with instructions of the Committee of Three or leave it like the original draft.

General Gillem: That was my suggestion. It seems that the original draft seems to achieve the results we desire more than subsequent amendments.

General Chou: General Chou says that the difficulty seems to lie in points 4 and 5.

General Gillem: Now we are closing in on 4 and 5. Let’s attack those two.

General Chou: As to the 4th and 5th paragraphs, General Chou says that it cannot be called a formula compromise. Now the Government put forward a new amended draft which is unacceptable to me because in the talk with General Chang day before yesterday I have already sent report to Yenan regarding the revised draft. I felt that both of us had reached a proper understanding on that draft that I would be able to convince Yenan on that draft. However the new draft would harm the situation because Yenan would feel that the Government is changing its mind on it, so I delayed sending a report last night and asked General Chang if he would make further effort to obtain Government acceptance of that proposal. For my part it is rather hard for me to accept the revised Government proposal.

General Gillem: What success could General Chang have in [Page 575]achieving the Government approval of the original compromise that was reached?

General Chang: It would appear in that paper, the amendment made by the Government is the last part.

General Gillem: What is about to occur is that an increasing number of points which will be disputed and must be settled will arise if this delay is prolonged. If we can arrive at some conclusion it will at least stop the potential points of contact as troops are moving constantly in that area. I think it would be highly desirable, otherwise we can write a very complete document here that cannot be implemented. This paragraph as written the first part, and that was agreed upon, now this is just a double check and if we can eliminate the double check this is a basis for the field team to operate. I just wonder if that has been considered.

General Chou: In discussion with General Chang we have reached the following conclusion. 1. The function of the Government troops would be first to take over the points evacuated by the Soviet troops. 2. The Government troops would also need to move to places other than those evacuated by the Soviet troops then it can be settled in accordance with the 5th paragraph. 3. In the meantime, I think within the month of March we will work out in Chungking an overall plan for the redisposition of the armies and which will then be redistributed in Manchuria. Therefore I entirely agree with your explanation. The present Government revised draft is not an instruction for the field team to carry out the mission, but it is an over-all instruction for Manchuria. It is not possible to solve the whole question within the scope of the present instruction.

General Gillem: That is right. I think it is impossible in the present instructions. Then again coming back to the original can we specify, as prescribed in the second paragraph of paragraph 4 which reads specifically they will exercise control of the railroad, and then can we put by agreement, certain prescribed areas or towns in this directive and leave the remainder for settlement at a subsequent period in order to get the field teams out. I am again trying to accomplish that one thing.

General Chang: It goes right back to the first meeting.

General Gillem: In the cease fire order I believe certain of these provisions are visualized, that is, about the railroad. Certainly the cease fire order will not be effective in the area under dispute unless we get some directives to get them there to insure that that is being carried out. Therefore in an endeavor to actually executive [execute?] the directive which the gentlemen have signed with General Marshall, we should make every endeavor to get some instructions out which are in accordance with that agreement and then settle the political issues after we have taken steps to stop the contact.

[Page 576]

General Gillem repeated his warning about letting the matter be delayed and suggested that the subject be allowed to cool and to have another meeting shortly, in the meantime to take up another subject.

General Chang explained that while this important issue was before the Committee he would not be able to intelligently discuss another subject as his mind would be on Manchuria and suggested that the meeting be adjourned.

  1. Brig. Gen. John P. McConnell, Commanding General of Air Division, Nanking Headquarters Command, U. S. Forces in China.
  2. See United States Relations With China, p. 626.
  3. Ante, p. 543.
  4. Ante, p. 564.