Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270: Telegram

General Marshall to Colonel Marshall S. Carter

865. I think you should know the reasons behind recent heavy Communist propaganda attack against U. S. and me personally. Extended absence of Generalissimo in Mukden and Peiping while his armies hasten their advances in Manchuria, this occurring just as I had brought the two sides to the verge of an agreement, enraged Communists and what was much more serious aroused a deep suspicion in their minds that I was favoring the Government side and was a party to the delay caused by the Generalissimo’s prolonged absence while his armies capitalized their success to the south of Changchun. Incidentally, use of my plane added to Communist belief but he used plane on my urging for safety reason and because Madame Chiang was ill, yet he insisted on her accompanying him.

To add fat to the fire Generalissimo then made demand for agreement that the Americans on teams, at Executive Headquarters and finally for me on Committee of Three have authority to make final decision in case of all disagreement. To offset approval this proposition might gain from American public the Communist concentrated propaganda attack resulted, but it was hatched before the 15-day proposition has been broached. The Communist are now inclined to accept me on old terms of confidence but much harm has been done. Incidentally I would have to be very careful of Soviet reactions against U. S. Government if I were given power of decision on highest level which though military would necessarily involve the final word regarding some of the most delicate questions concerning the reorganization of local and provincial government in Manchuria.

I would not risk this information through normal radio or office channels but I pass it to you for limited use as seems best in your judgment. It might be well to tip Shepley41 off, though this is questionable. However, you are on the ground and you know the reactions: State Department, press and radio, and maybe political part. [Page 1021] Chou is back from Yenan and negotiations are proceeding initially in favorable manner.

Another subject: Convey my congratulation to the Chief Justice.42 Tell him I will miss his influence in NAC. Notify Baruch43 that I am writing him a letter regarding Atomic questions he asked. Take occasion to remark to Dean Acheson44 and Vincent that I am deeply sensible to the complete backing they are giving me in every way, small embassy or consulate business, funds, etc., etc. This is a hell of a problem but we will lick it yet, pessimists to the contrary notwithstanding.

  1. James R. Shepley, former member of General Marshall’s staff in China.
  2. Fred Vinson, formerly Secretary of the Treasury.
  3. Bernard Baruch, “elder statesman” and financier.
  4. Under Secretary of State.