Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270: Telegram

Mr. Walter S. Robertson to Lieutenant General Alvan C. Gillem, Jr.

1082. It has developed that, when specific instructions for investigations have not been transmitted from Executive Headquarters and when unanimous decision cannot be reached by the team as to the trouble spots within their area to be investigated and the priority therefor, the team has remained immobilized for indefinite periods. To eliminate this situation, we prepared a procedure whereby the American team member as chairman of the team would, in such cases, make the decision on the locations to be investigated and the priority therefor, thereby breaking the deadlock. He would not decide individually on the action to be taken based on the investigation, but only on the movement of the team to a location. If, after investigation, unanimous agreement could not be reached as to action to be taken, the report of investigation would be taken in accordance with our normal procedure to the commissioners for their consideration and action. This procedure was readily approved by the Government Commissioner, the Communist Commissioner has been delaying action for several days on issuing such an order and today said, after two [Page 592]hours discussion, he did not have authority to approve the proposal. He said however he would submit it to Chou En-Lai for consideration and advice. For your background information in event question is discussed the text of your paper our proposed directive follows:

“All instructions issued to the field teams as team messages are transmitted only after unanimous agreement of all three parties in Executive Headquarters, in accordance with principles agreed upon by the Commission of Three in Chungking. Therefore, all three members of a field team will put all directives and orders received from Executive Headquarters into effect without hesitation or delay.

Field teams will make personal investigations and settle problems on the ground. First priority on these investigations will be given those directed by Executives. In the absence of such specific instructions and in cases where unanimous agreement cannot be reached between three members of a team on the sequence of the investigations, it is hereby directed that the American member, as chairman of the team, will arrive at a solution on the locations to be investigated and the priority thereof. In such cases, the Government and Communist party members will comply with the decision of the American member.” End of directive.

The action proposed is simply a question of procedure in line with the principles agreed upon by the Committee of Three at Chining and other places on recent inspection trip where paralyzing deadlocks were to be broken. Without such action our effectiveness will be greatly handicapped.