Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270: Telegram

Mr. Walter S. Robertson20 to General Marshall

4847. Have notified American members of all field teams that truce has been extended. Impossible to issue team message due absence today of National Government branch members. Your 102621 received last evening stated Generalissimo22 had issued, orders to his armies prohibiting aggressive action and extending truce. Has Chairman Mao23 issued similar orders to all of his field commanders? In our opinion it is necessary that field commanders in north and central China as well as Manchuria receive such orders from both sides if widespread conflict is to be avoided. Both sides appear to be jockeying for position and as usual each will claim defensive action if conflict occurs. The press releases of the Minister of Information24 and of Chou En-lai25 confuse rather than clarify the situation. The work of this headquarters both here and in the field would be greatly facilitated if we could be certain that field commanders of both sides had been officially notified of truce extension to include north and central China as well as Manchuria. It has been our experience in critical situations that team members will refuse to obey directives from this headquarters which are contrary to instructions received from their respective field commanders.

  1. American Commissioner of Executive Headquarters at Peiping.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Chiang Kai-shek.
  4. Mao Tse-tung, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.
  5. Peng Hsueh-pei.
  6. Head of the Chinese Communist Party delegation at Nanking.