Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270
Madame Chiang Kai-shek to General Marshall
My Dear General: The Generalissimo has received your message of the 26 May, and is sending you a reply14 through Dr. Soong.
I have borne in mind what you mentioned to me in Nanking regarding the eventualities which might develope if some agreement is not reached with the Communists in the very near future, and I have steadily sought to emphasize their importance to the Generalissimo. He expressed his appreciation of your concern, and added that he too is concerned over the imminent nature of the existing situation which to his mind is comparable to standing on the ruin of a seething crater which might at any moment and under the slightest provocation explode with another volcanic eruption. In his opinion, therefore, there are only two courses open to prevent a cataclysmic upheaval. The first is to implement the agreements already signed. Frankly he was somewhat irritated in reading Chou En-lai’s statement that the latter agreed “in principle” to the carrying out of the agreements. The Generalissimo remarked that it would be better if the Communists indulged less in pious professions, and acted more in accordance with their pledged word.
The Generalissimo is in hopes that if both you and the Government stand firm in insisting on the implementation, the Communists will come to terms. Failing that, he told me that then the only course left open is to occupy strategic centers in Manchuria. In which case the Communists would be forced to carry out in deed and in truth the agreements they had signed at that time, [and?] you would meet with success in your negotiations.
I expressed to the Generalissimo that I hope we would not follow the second alternative, for that is too costly to life and property as witnessed in the Chang Chun fighting. People who just came from that city told me that many of the beautiful buildings which formerly existed are but empty shells, with only the walls remaining in mute protest of violence and depredation,—so different from what I saw a few short months ago! Mukden is bad enough as a result of Russian [Page 907]removal of equipment from the factories, and stripping of furniture from public buildings and private residences! The Generalissimo replied that he too hopes that the second course could be avoided, but that in his dealings with the Communists he has learned not to be too sanguine where their promises are concerned unless they are first committed to concrete measures. I am writing this letter to let you know what is going on in the Generalissimo’s mind, for in understanding its processes you might be better enabled to bring to a swift and successful culmination of what this country so badly needs—peace, and thereby a chance for our people to recuperate from the wounds of eight years of war.
I close with affectionate greetings to you and Mrs. Marshall.