Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Meeting of Lieutenant General Alvan C. Gillem, Jr., With Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek

Present: Madame Chiang Kai-shek
Colonel Pee Chung-kan,35 Aide to the Generalissimo
Captain [Ernest K.] Horace Eng

Anent the present impasse between the Government and the Chinese Communist Party in arriving at an agreement to send Field Teams to Manchuria

General Gillem reported that he had radioed General Marshall the night before, the proposed agreement verbatim, explaining that the Communists had been laboring at the punctilious niceties of including the word “now” in Paragraph 4, with a view to procrastinate.

Madame Chiang remarked that the crux of the problem was that there were very few places “now” evacuated by the Soviet.

General Gillem said that it was more clear than apparent that during the intervening time, the Communists were massing troops at strategic points for future moves.

General Gillem continued that General Marshall had directed the Committee of Three to proceed at once to Manchuria. He added however that he had asked General Marshall to reconsider this measure on two grounds:

(a)
That too much time would be spent by the Committee in locating the situs wherein conflicts had been reported;
(b)
That the move would tend to lower the level of the Committee: and that the Committee could go in much better grace if groundwork for its presence had been laid by Field Teams.

General Gillem reported that General Chou En-lai had flown to Yenan this morning, to return as soon as practicable, to consult his Party in connection with the dispatch of Field Teams to Manchuria under the conditions set forth in the proposed agreement, and that Field Teams were being held in readiness for immediate dispatch.

Asked if General Chou, before his departure, had indicated the reason for his departure or the probable course for the future, General Gillem said that General Chou had intimated his lack of authority to sign the proposed agreement with the word “now” deleted. Repeated discussions with General Chang having been proved fruitless, General Chou left Chungking for Yenan. General Gillem continued that he had no previous knowledge of General Chou’s going to Yenan, and that he had attempted to impress General Chou of the importance of the immediate dispatch of Field Teams, whose primary mission was [Page 589]to separate the two contending forces. Political and economic issues would be settled separately on a higher level here in Chungking.

In support of the Central Government’s move in Manchuria, General Gillem cited a specific provision in the Cease Fire Order, which read, “Cessation of Hostilities Order does not prejudice military movements of forces of the National Army into within Manchuria which are for the purpose of restoring Chinese sovereignty.”

The Generalissimo said that this was the most salient point in the Cease Fire Order and that it should be emphasized wherever feasible.

General Gillem said that the specific provision above-mentioned had been incorporated in his proposed agreement, which General Chou declined to accept.

General Gillem pointed out that since the Cease Fire Order was signed, the conditions in Manchuria had changed, and that the Communists could now afford to flout the agreement. He reiterated however that it was highly desirable to send immediately Field Teams to Manchuria to separate the contending forces, leaving the political and economic issues to be solved in Chungking.

Madame Chiang said that since political and economic issues were intimately connected with the Cease Fire Order, American participation in discussions would be in order.

General Gillem said that his duty was to advise in military matters, but that he would abide by whatever instruction General Marshall might see fit to give.

The Generalissimo informed that prior to his departure for Yenan General Chou had indicated to General Chang that the Chinese Communist[s] had no objection to Central Government troops moving into the railway area from Mukden to Changchun.

General Gillem said that the point at issue at the time of his departure for Nanking involved places north of Changchun, as it was assumed that the Government was in complete control of places south of Changchun.

The Generalissimo pointed out that the recalcitrance of the Communists in jockeying for positions for the control of places north of Changchun had been instigated and encouraged by the Soviet.

General Gillem said that it had been his opinion that the Communists were actually jockeying for the control of Harbin.

The Generalissimo said that he had instructed General Chang to postpone his departure for Sinkiang for a day or two pending the return of General Chou from Yenan.

General Gillem said that he hoped that General Chang would remain in Chungking until the present deadlock was solved, since General Chang, having taken part in the negotiations from the beginning, was better informed than any other to see the matter through to a solution.

[Page 590]

The Generalissimo said that he would retain General Chang in Chungking as long as practicable.

  1. Also known as Peter T[song] K[an] Tee.