Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270
General Marshall to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek4
Your statement of terms of May 24 by letter of Madame Chiang5 arrived at noon today, Sunday. I have today had a three hour conference with General Chou. He is to give me a statement this evening of agreements and commitments on certain details which are involved in your statement of general terms. He is unable to commit himself on details regarding matter of procedure of government in taking over sovereignty and extent of authority proposed for American officers referred to in your paragraph four (c).[Page 902]
I make these recommendations and observations in the meantime:
- General Chou and I propose that an advance section of Executive Headquarters be moved into Changchun immediately and get established there.
- I urge that you immediately issue orders terminating advances, attacks and pursuits by government troops within twenty-four hours of the time of issuing your order, publicly announcing such action and stating that you do this in furtherance of your desire to terminate hostilities and settle matters by the peaceful method of negotiations. I feel that to continue to press your present military advantage will invite a repetition of the unfortunate results of the early National Government experience in Manchuria and the result of the more recent belligerent attitude of the Communist leaders at Changchun. Besides, to do otherwise at this moment would be contrary to your recent proposal6 to the Communists.
- Reference statement in letter regarding my willingness to guarantee good faith of Communists, please explain the meaning you place on the term guarantee.
- Question. Is it your intention to give American Commissioner at Peiping complete authority to make decision on all matters over which opposing Commissioners are in disagreement. This certainly would facilitate matters, but I feel that it is too all-inclusive in effect to place American, and consequently American Government, in position of deciding a number of major matters that would shortly become involved. How about restricting this final decision by Americans to specific matters such as where, when and how teams should proceed, whom they should see and decisions covering local situation. Also final decision by Americans at Changchun regarding all immediate arrangements and matters in Manchuria pertaining to termination of hostilities. Also decision at Executive Headquarters regarding matters referred to Commissioners by teams or team chairman, and in matters pertaining to restoration of communications. In all of this, decisions regarding political matters would be excluded unless specifically stipulated by later agreement.