Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Minutes of Conference Between General Marshall and Dr. Lo Lung-chi at General Marshall’s House, June 1, 1946, 10 a.m.

Also present: Gen. Timberman
Captain Soong

General Marshall informed Dr. Lo of the difficulty in reaching a solution due to the absence of Generalissimo, and stated it was very difficult to carry on negotiations via radio communications. He said that frequent conferences were held with Gen. Chou to clear up as many points as possible and that he had recommended to the Generalissimo to issue orders instructing his troops to cease advances, attacks and pursuits. Efforts were also made to get a branch of Executive Headquarters to Changchun to effect cessation of hostilities and to create a condition favorable to further negotiations. The Generalissimo states that he will not enter into another agreement unless he had assurance from the Communist Party that they would not again follow their delaying tactics in carrying out the agreements. To [Page 928]accomplish this, the Generalissimo proposed that the American be given the final decision in case of disagreements. However, Gen. Marshall was reluctant to accept such a proposal in view of the grave responsibility and heavy burden placed on the Americans and also the possible involvement of the American Government. He would be willing, however, to allow the American commissioner in Peiping to have the responsibility for the final vote in case of disagreements concerning Restoration of Communications and matters pertaining to the cessation of hostilities. General Marshall admitted however that unless such a system were installed, there was very little hope of reaching any agreement. As a matter of fact he would be reluctant to let Americans become involved in the Executive Headquarters in Changchun unless Gen. Byroade were to be given authority to break disagreements regarding the immediate termination of the fighting. General Marshall said Gen. Chou was reluctant to accept such a proposal because he feared that the lower ranks of the Communist Party could not understand such a system. They felt bitterly toward the U. S. support of the National Government. Due to the effective Communist propaganda, it was feared that these low ranking officers and soldiers in the Communist Party would not accept the Americans as impartial judges. Gen. Marshall then cited the agreement proposed by Gen. Byroade in giving American field team members authority to determine as to where the teams should go and when; who they should visit. This proposal was signed by Gen. Hsu but was declined by Gen. Chou. As a result, an agreement authorizing the commissioners in the Ex. Hq. to solve all team problems within 24 hours before referring to the Committee of Three, was reached. General Marshall reiterated that the situation at present is extremely dangerous due to the conditions in North China and the possibility of the Nationalists’ Generals overplaying their military power in Manchuria, just as the Communist Generals have recently done. It was necessary to use all possible influence to stop fighting immediately and send a branch of the Ex. Hq. to Changchun. This would have an important psychological effect on all. Gen. Marshall said that by allowing the American team members to have the deciding vote, the teams could move about freely and stop all troop movements which did not conform with the basic cease for [fire] agreement. By so doing, much of the suspicion and fear on both sides could be eliminated. General Marshall then proposed an idea to organize a few teams consisting of an American and a member each from the Democratic League and Young China Party, which would tour troubled areas in North China and Manchuria. However, he was not in a position to [Page 929]know how the Generalissimo and Gen. Chou would react to such an idea.

Dr. Lo asked if the Manchurian problem could be settled if the Americans were given the final authority. Gen. Marshall replied that this was the point the Generalissimo emphasized most emphatically. The Committee of Three could then negotiate policies and reduce them to writing. Such policies would have to be agreed by all members of the Committee. General Marshall added however that agreements signed by the Committee of Three in the past, were not carried out due to differences of interpretation by the Commissioners or by their staffs, or by field team members. Suspicion and retaliation measures on both sides further complicated the matter.

General Marshall emphasized that he would not accept a general statement that American[s] would decide on all disagreements but would agree that Americans have deciding vote regarding the restoration of communications and reports from field teams. General Marshall then showed Dr. Lo the draft proposal regarding the activities of field teams.43

Dr. Lo inquired if General Marshall could effect cessation of hostilities if General Chou would accept this proposal. Gen. Marshall replied he could not guarantee that, because he had not had the opportunity to discuss it with the Generalissimo. But Gen. Marshall could not see any objection to Gen. Chou’s agreeing to the reconstruction of railroads.

Dr. Lo then explained that the Communists’ feeling towards Americans could be contributed [attributed] to the American support given to the National Government in the training and transporting of its troops which at present were being used in a civil war. Even now, the National Government armies in Manchuria were depending on the U. S. Navy for supplies. All this made the Communists suspicious as to the American policy, and their impartiality. Gen. Marshall stated that the training and equipping of the Chinese army were a part of an agreement entered into over two and half years ago. It would have been absurd for the U. S. Government to stipulate in such an agreement that should a civil war occur, the portion of the Chinese Army so trained and equipped must be disbanded. At the time the agreement was made, the U. S. was dealing with an ally, and that ally was the National Government and not Yenan. In the peace treaty [sic], it was agreed by the Allied powers that Manchuria was to be taken over by allied China, i. e., Chungking. To assist China in this respect, U. S. had formally committed herself in the transportation of [Page 930]Chinese troops into Manchuria, as otherwise the Chinese Government was powerless to effect such a move.

Dr. Lo then stated that his impression was that if the Generalissimo could agree to a cease fire order immediately, the Communist Party would agree to his proposal. He further stated that Americans should not continue to supply the National Government if a civil war should develop. He suggested that Gen. Marshall make it clear that if the Central Government continues to fight, the U. S. would cease all the supplies to it. To this, General Marshall reserved his comment in view of his position as Ambassador. He indicated that Russia might possibly be involved in the situation. However, he said the assistance given by U. S. to China was diminishing and that the Chinese Government was taking over the shipping along coast lines in liberty ships turned over by the U. S., and that the Government was maintaining its own supplies into Manchuria.

In closing, Dr. Lo reiterated that he would tell Gen. Chou about the special proposals regarding teams suggested by General Marshall. At same time, he hoped that if Gen. Chou would agree to accept the proposal, General Marshall would ask the Generalissimo to issue cease for [fire] orders immediately. General Marshall stated that he would persuade the Generalissimo to cease advances, attacks, and pursuits. Then teams and the branch of the Executive Headquarters must be sent into Manchuria.

  1. Presumably draft of May 30, p. 914.