Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Memorandum by the Second Secretary of Embassy in China (Ludden)

On April 8, 1946 the Generalissimo granted an interview to Miles Vaughn, Far Eastern Manager of the United Press. At the interview the Generalissimo expressed the opinion in very strong language that there exists no difference between Communists in China, Russia, France or any other country, that it is the objective of the Chinese Communists to Sovietize all of China, that the Chinese Communists in Manchuria appear to have the backing of the Soviet Union and that certain of their actions are possibly controlled by Moscow.

The Generalissimo also stated that the present Russian withdrawal from Manchuria eases the situation somewhat but some of the Russian forces have been withdrawn to Korea and thus constitute a veiled threat to China. He advocated that the United States take a much firmer stand against Russian aggression and a tougher attitude at UNO. The Generalissimo stated that if the United States cracked down on Russia, Russia would behave since it would take 20 years for Russia to become industrialized sufficiently to fight a first-class war. Generalissimo went on to say that at the present time Communism is China’s greatest problem and that within a few years it will be the world’s greatest problem because of Communists “boring from within”.

The story of the interview was submitted on the morning of April 9 to K. C. Wu, Minister of Information, by messenger. It was returned in a greatly revised form and none of the foregoing observations of the Generalissimo were included in the final story as filed. The Embassy understands that the revised story of the interview was published in the United States in morning editions April 10 and in Shanghai English-language newspapers on April 11. The Embassy has not yet seen full text of the story as published nor is the Embassy aware of the reasons for the removal of foregoing points from the story other than possibility that K. C. Wu lost his nerve. It was evident at the interview, the Embassy has been reliably informed by an American newspaperman who attended, that the Generalissimo wished at that time to have his remarks on the Chinese Communists and Communism in general published. Vaughn and my informant asked him several times whether or not certain remarks could be published [Page 167] and the Generalissimo’s usual rejoinder of “hao, hao, hao”30 was forthcoming. It is quite possible, as one explanation of the revision, that the Generalissimo may have received word from the United States of the imminent possibility of the granting of the loan. There is also the possibility that the Generalissimo was reacting with considerable anger to the Chieh Fang Jih Pao editorial of April 6 [7], republished in Chungking on April 8, and later decided that publication of the views expressed above would be generally detrimental to the over-all situation at this time.

Raymond P. Ludden
  1. Meaning “okay”.