Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270: Telegram
Lieutenant General Alvan C. Gillem, Jr., to General Marshall
351. Received your 81547. General Chou is still in Yenan which makes it impossible at this time to reach agreement on the Committee of Three level of the dispatch of teams to Manchuria, General Chou was supposed to have returned the 22 or 23 March using plane in which we sent him to Yenan. On 21 Chou’s secretary called to say that the [Page 594] plane was returning with 14 Communists aboard but that Chou was remaining behind. In an effort to stop this apparent stall I dispatched messages through the Communists and Yenan observer group urgently suggesting plane await Chou. However, the plane returned 22 without Chou and the pilot informed me Chou had told him to return since he would not be ready either 22 or 23. Contact with Chou En-lai’s secretary indicates Chou’s present plan is to remain in Yenan “4 or 5 days”. Later Yeaton confirmed this by radio.
Upon receipt of your message I immediately contacted General Chang and gave him the gist of your message. His reaction was favorable to most any course of action which the Committee of Three could develop in an effort to solve this problem. After our meeting Chang went to see the Generalissimo and we again met the 22 at 2100. Chang first informed me that the Generalissimo had instructed him to postpone his Sinkiang trip until the Committee of Three had had an opportunity to proceed to Mukden. General Chang stated that the Generalissimo was prepared to dispatch teams into Manchuria without stipulation or instructions and that the Committee after its visit to Mukden could consider appropriate instructions further. General Chang stated that the Generalissimo’s view was that the Government would make any concessions in order to expedite entrance of the teams into Manchuria providing there was an understanding between General Chang and myself which provides for:
- That the cease-fire order would obtain, i. e., National Government forces’ movements in Manchuria is not precluded and
- Provisions of Sino-Soviet treaty be observed.
General Chang further stated that the Generalissimo was willing to make this drastic concession in lieu of the concern indicated in your message.
I am prepared to go to Mukden but I am faced with the difficulty that General Chou En-lai is still in Yenan. I have therefore decided to send Caughey to Yenan on Saturday, 23 March, in my C–54 to see Chou and impress upon him the importance of his return to Chungking with Caughey on Sunday. If Chou returns and is prepared to sign an agreement I will immediately instruct Byroade to dispatch teams. Chou may return but still be unprepared to sign an agreement in which case I will depart with him and Chang for Mukden and at the same time hope to send teams 1 or 2 days ahead without specific instructions. If Chou will not return from Yenan I plan to proceed to Mukden as instructed and hope that Chang will accompany. Byroade arrives today, Saturday, and will be oriented as to situation and necessity for immediate departure of teams upon advice from here.