Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Memorandum Prepared in the Chinese Ministry of Information Concerning the Chinese Communists’ Statement of April 21, 194637

The Chinese Communists, in their statement delivered to the Government representatives on April 21 and released to the press on April 22, made several charges against the Government. As General Marshall is fully acquainted with all the facts pertaining to the execution of the Cease-Hostilities Agreement and the Programme for Military Reorganization and For the Integration of the Communist Forces into the National Army, nothing needs be said about the Communists’ accusation that the Government has violated them. As regards the other charges, the facts are as follows:

The Communists allege that the Government has failed to carry out its four pledges. As a matter of fact, the Government has carried them out in good faith, and as of necessity step by step. The first pledge is that “the people shall enjoy the freedoms of person, belief, speech, publication, assembly and association. All the prevailing laws and regulations shall be either abolished or amended in accordance with this principle. No governmental organ other than the judicial and police authorities shall be permitted to arrest, try and impose punishment on the people.” The Supreme National Defense Council has already abolished many laws and regulations and caused to be amended according to due process many others, which were enacted during the war as emergency measures. For a notable instance, censorship has been totally abolished. All these measures have been made public. The second pledge is that “all political parties are equal before the law and may operate openly within the law.” This is so at present. The third pledge is that “self-government shall be vigorously promoted in all localities and general elections shall be held according to law from the lower level upward.” This is being carried out by the Government, wherever feasible. And it is to be [Page 174] understood that a nation-wide application of this principle must needs take time and that the promulgation of a permanent constitution must be its prerequisite. The fourth pledge is that “all political criminals with the exception of traitors who have been found to have injured the republic shall be released.” All persons of this category whose names have been submitted by the Communists have been released. In the case of certain Communists in Sinkiang, the matter is being dealt with by the new governor Chang Chih-chung after the reorganization of the provincial government.
The Communists allege that the resolutions of the Second Plenary Session of the Central Executive Committee of Kuomintang have violated the agreements of the Political Consultation Conference. As a matter of fact, however, both in its declaration and in its resolution passed on the report on the PCC the CEC of Kuomintang openly endorsed those agreements and firmly made public that it would faithfully carry them out. True, there were certain changes it advocated in regard to the constitutional draft agreed upon in the PCC. But they were made according to the understanding reached explicitly in the PCC that “in case there are other better opinions pertaining to the constitution, they shall be referred to the different parties for consultation and agreement.” Those changes were adopted in the CEC not as hard and fast resolutions which must be executed to the word, but as views “to be referred to the Standing Committee of the CEC for action,”—that is, for the Standing Committee to take up the matter with the other parties for consultation and agreement. This is exactly the course which the Government is taking in this connection.
As to the quota of Communist members in the State Council, the Communists did suggest that they should have ten out of twenty (the other twenty members are to be Kuomintang according to PCC agreement). The suggestion was made by them outside of the PCC and not in it. Maintaining that this matter was, as it should be, a question for all the other parties to discuss and find a mutually satisfactory formula among themselves, the Government of course could not give agreement to it. The Government, however, did repeatedly urge all the other parties to consult one another and to come to a quick common understanding on their respective quota in the State Council. But as they failed to do so, they requested Dr. Wang Shih-Chieh to intervene and mediate among themselves. When this became of no avail, the non-partizans recommended the formula of 8–4–4–4 (8 Communists, 4 Youth Party, 4 Democratic League and 4 non-partizans). In view of the apparent impossibility of these [Page 175] parties to reach a concord and in view of the impartial nature of the non-partizans’ recommendation, the Government also supported it and brought it forward as a good solution.
The Communists, however, were not satisfied with this plan because they maintained that between them and the Democratic League they must have 14 members (Communists 10 and Democratic League 4) in order to possess the necessary one-third membership to veto any measure in the State Council. To break the impasse, the Government countered with the proposal that since according to the PCC agreement one-third is required to defeat any measure that involves any alteration of the so-called “Programme of Peaceful Reconstruction.” that stipulation can be modified so that only twelve votes are necessary to veto such a measure. This should enable the Communists to accept their quota of 8 and the Democratic League that of 4. But even this the Communists would not accept.
As to the participation of the Communists and other parties in the Executive Yuan, it is the intention of the Government to consult them on the matter after an agreement has been settled about the various quotas in the State Council.
The Communists also allege that the Government wishes to increase the membership of the National Assembly. This is not the case. It is the Peopled Political Council that demands the increase. As the PPC has been the only popular and somewhat representative organ during the war, they deem it their right to participate in the National Assembly. The Government has referred the matter to the various parties, Communists included, for discussion, and proposed that there should be also proportional increase for the membership of the other parties in the National Assembly. That is, between the Communists and the Democratic League, they can always have one-fourth of the membership of the National Assembly so as to hold the power of veto. To this proposal, all the parties, the Communists included, have already given their agreement.

  1. Forwarded on April 22 at the direction of President Chiang by the Minister of Information (Wu) to General Marshall.