Memorandum by the Second Secretary of Embassy in China (Sprouse)83

Summary. The establishment of the Political Consultative Council was provided for during the National Government–Communist Party conversations held in September and October 1945.84 Subsequent conversations between the representatives of the Government and various political parties have resulted in the provisional selection of 38 delegates to the Council divided among the parties as follows: Kuomintang, 8; Communist, 7; Democratic League, 9; Youth Party, 5; and non-party, 9. The scope of the authority of the PCC and the binding power of its decisions has reportedly not yet been defined but the Council is expected to discuss problems relating to peaceful reconstruction, matters relating to the National Assembly and the draft constitution to be submitted to the National Assembly. The local press is demanding that the PCC sessions be made open to the press and to the public and it is reliably stated that the Communist Party, the Democratic League, the Youth Party and non-party elements [Page 133] are supporting this demand. The Central Government is said to be unwilling to have all meetings open to the public. A rule of unanimity for the passage of important issues, proposed by the Communist Party, is reported to be likely to prevail at the PCC meetings. Prior to the opening of the PCC on January 10, conversations are being held at Chungking between representatives of the Government and the Communist Party in regard to the cessation of hostilities and to certain points raised by the Communists. End of Summary.

[Here follows detailed report.]

Philip D. Sprouse
  1. Prepared for submission to General of the Army George C. Marshall, Special Representative of President Truman in China; copy transmitted to the Department by the Chargé in China (Robertson) in his despatch No. 1016, January 4; received January 30.
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. vii, telegram 1833, October 19, 1945, p. 475. For summary of the conversations, see Department of State, United States Relations With China, p. 577.