893.00/2–1546: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in China (Smyth) to the Secretary of State

304. Mass meeting of estimated 7 to 10 thousand people (reference Embtels 201, February 114 and 245, February 7, 3 p.m.), February 10 sponsored by Democratic League and local civic organizations to celebrate success [of People’s Consultative Council?] disrupted by organized hoodlums, estimated 300. Several prominent liberals beaten and suffered injuries, none believed critical. Violent press controversies are in progress. Non-Govt press alleges collusion Govt police agencies which Govt press ignores or denies. Weight of present evidence indicates at least prior planning and organization for demonstration aimed at repudiation PCC resolutions and discrediting the advocates of full implementation thereof. Airmail despatch follows.14

Incident believed symptomatic of increasing apprehension among Rightist elements Kmt as it becomes more evident that Gimo intends fully to implement PCC decisions. Main opposition PCC proposals develops from (1) concern of CC clique15 and adherents with regard future position when Kmt will no longer have sole access public funds for party support and (2) concern of Whampoa clique and associated army and division commanders regarding loss of perquisites of office as demobilization and reorganization armed forces commences.

Gimo now Nanking where he will preside at conference top military commanders from 15 to 20 February. No formal agenda announced but demobilization and reorganization armies probably major topics for discussion. Real test of power may not develop, however, until PCC resolutions presented Kmt central executive committee meeting still scheduled about March 1.

Certain liberal Chinese critics of Gimo now express opinion he has gained in stature by moderation and willingness to compromise at PCC sessions and believe him sincere in expressed desire carry out PCC agreements. Successful revolt against Gimo’s authority held unlikely. There is now developing anomalous political situation of Gimo being supported on PCC issues by Communists against disgruntled elements his own party. The national press reaction PCC program favorable qualified by expressed realization that full and early implementation of decisions only real test good faith all parties. Comment in general restrained advocating watchful waiting and [Page 155] praising truce agreement. Press cautiously exploring its now [new?] charter of freedom. Increasing comment critical of local administrations which are held responsible for serious grain dislocations in Honan, Hunan and southern Anhwei where suffering is widespread and famine likely.

No apparent progress guarantees civil liberties. No release political prisoners. Constitutional committee held first meeting February 14.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Chen brothers, Chen Li-fu and Kuo-fu.