Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270: Telegram

Mr. Walter S. Robertson to General Marshall

4967. National Government Commissioner informed me this morning (Reference my 490757) that upon instructions from General Hsu58 [at] Nanking he was countermanding orders given military [Page 1295]commander Shantung Province to recover by force cities taken by Communists and not evacuated in accordance with his demands. We have now sent out agreed message to all field teams officially notifying them of extension of truce throughout China.

New subject: Two National Government team representatives were killed during June by Communists. In the case of Major Lei a special team appointed to make investigation concluded in an official report to the three Commissioners that the unfortunate death was due to an accident which might have killed any of the members of team present and was not a premeditated murder of Major Lei. Communists have expressed deep regret and made offer of compensation. Official team report on second case has not yet been received. Report of American member indicates willful and inexcusable attack on team by Communists and strongly recommends severe punishment for offender. National Government Commissioner arbitrarily takes position that both cases should be treated as one and states that unless Communist branch will meet identical demands in both cases he will withdraw guarantees for personal safety of all Communist team members. A meeting of the three Commissioners is being held on Saturday morning to consider these cases and it is hoped that Government Commissioners will modify his position in the meantime. The matter is brought to your attention because I may again have to call upon you for assistance in having his arbitrary position rectified by his principal in Nanking. General Cheng is friendly and cooperative in all of his dealings with the American branch but he evidences an increasing bitterness towards the Communists.

  1. July 2, p. 1282.
  2. General Hsu Yung-chang, Chinese Government member of the Committee of Three.