Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270: Telegram
Mr. Walter S. Robertson to General Marshall
4907. When presented with proposed message from 3 Commissioners to all Field Teams, Reourad 4847, advising of truce extension and prohibition against aggressive action, National Government Commissioner46 stated he had suggested to Generalissimo that such restriction should not apply to cities attacked and occupied by Communists in Shantung Province beginning 7 June. Furthermore General Cheng informed me he was notifying General Wang Yao-wu that if these cities were not evacuated by Communists within reasonable time they should be retaken by force. The duration of reasonable time was to be left to discretion of local commanders. I emphasized that such action seemed entirely contradictory to truce announcement of Generalissimo, would in all likelihood lead to widespread fighting and might well result in complete breakdown of negotiations in Nanking. I urged that if such an ultimatum was to be issued it should be done on the Committee of Three level and not in Executive Headquarters. He replied that he would accept full responsibility. I insistently urged that we at least notify Government representative on Committee of his intentions before taking such drastic action. He replied he had already done so. The towns of which evacuation will be demanded are as follows: Tehsien, Taian, Tsao-Chuang, Choutsun, Kaomi, Kiaohsien, Chimo, Tawenkou, Nan-Chuan, Lan Chun, Cha Shan, and Hsia Mo Tun. I am convinced that active preparations are being made to recover these cities by force and that nothing short of a direct order from the Generalissimo will alter General Cheng’s decision.
Report from Clement of his conversations with Chen Yi follows in separate message.47