Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270: Telegram

Colonel J. Hart Caughey to Brigadier General Henry A. Byroade, at Peiping

Met with field team evening of 31 March at which I explained mission of Chungking delegation, i. e., to present Generalissimo’s new order to General Chang Fa Kuei through Colonel Pee and to assist field team in solving problem. Col. Miller explained the problem as he had found it and stated that: It had been referred to higher headquarters; field team would cooperate to fullest extent; and no authority yet existed for establishing Communist radio to Chungking and Peiping. After this meeting Colonel Pee had private conference with Chang at 2100 and presented Generalissimo’s new order.

At 1030, 1 April, delegation met General Chang Fa Kuei who promised his full cooperation. At 1400 met with field team and [Page 637] General Wang who was deputized by Chang for this purpose. At this time the Generalissimo’s order was made known to all. It includes the following points: You shall lend your assistance to the Communists and grant to them authority to make survey of East River region. It has been decided that (1) embarkation point is to be Ta Pang Bay (agreed to by all), (2) number of personnel evacuated to be between 2 and 3000 (Communist agreed that figure is in neighborhood 2400 including approximately 300 women), (3) field team to survey and if facts are found to be true to direct troops to Ta Pang Bay, and (4) from the date of making the survey until embarkation the time should not exceed one month.

Conference lasted 5 hours. First difficulty cropped up when it was found that Chang Fa Kuei’s interpretation included only those Communists in an area approx[imately] 30 li north and 30 li south of East River. This point was resolved only after I read from every reference I brought to show that from the first in the minds of all persons considering this problem it was one of removing Communists from Canton area and not one of special geographic locations with respect to the East River. This automatically brought up point that Chang refuses to recognize any Communist unit or leader. It was finally agreed that those forces would be known as “Communist armed forces”. The “date of survey” was next hashed out. It was agreed that General Tsien who came with delegation would fly to Hong Kong on 2 April to get General Tseng Sheng and return to Canton by 5 April. In the meantime General Fang Fang, Communist representative on field team, would assist in preparing general principles with field team and Chang Fa Kuei’s representative; and that the detailed plan would be worked out 3 days after Tseng Sheng arrived. This date, or 8 April, would be considered as the “date of survey” at which time field teams and liaison teams would proceed to designated areas to implement the movement and embarkation to begin 1 month later.

For Gillem: Reserved for Chungking decision is the point that teams leaving from Canton proceeding to northernmost Communist area and then return to Ta Pang Bay could not assure arrival of Communists within 1 month time limit. Certain tolerances may have to be entertained for this northern area. Other areas are in vicinity of East River and therefore can easily abide by 1 month limitation.

For Byroade: Both sides insisted on regular teams. Miller says he can use liaison teams of 2 members equipped with radio from Chang’s Hqs to assist. Minimum requirement is 3 more Americans to make up teams which would act as control points in 3 main areas to regulate any liaison teams that are necessary. The American personnel could be in company grade and in good physical condition for protracted march, particularly in northern area. Northern area is [Page 638] approx 200 kilos north of Canton and east of North River. These 3 Americans should be in Canton by 8 April, the date of survey.

For Wedemeyer: Depending upon availability LST should be made available as follows at Ta Pang Bay, 1 on 2 May, 1 on 8 May and 1 on 14 May. This is my own estimate and takes into account possible delay of over 1 month for those Communists moving down from north. Estimate is made on lift of approx 900 per LST.

For all: Chang has assured all possible assistance within Generalissimo’s instructions. He will assist with trucks where possible and junks, he will provide food on a loan basis and insure safe conduct. Reconvened 2 April results of which will be forwarded.

New subject. Party will depart Canton Wednesday 3 April. ETD 0900 local time, ETA 1200 Chungking time. Request transportation for 6.