Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Minutes of Meeting Between General Marshall and General Yu Ta-wei68 at No. 5 Ning Hai Road, Nanking, July 5, 1946, 6:39 p.m.

Also present: Colonel Caughey
Colonel Hutchin

General Yu Ta-wei said that the Generalissimo had sent him to see General Marshall with the following information: The Communists took Ta-Wen-Kou, in Shantung Province, 75 miles north of Hsuchow, and Ning-Wu in Shansi Province, 75 miles south of Ta-tung; these towns were taken either yesterday or early this morning. The Generalissimo [Page 1306]has said that he will stop negotiations if the Communists do not stop taking cities by force with no justification. The Generalissimo wants General Marshall’s opinion.

General Marshall said similar instances reported to him by the Communists presented an equally strong case on their side, that is, the Communists are contesting National Government actions in Shantung Province against towns along, and in the vicinity of, the Tsinan-Tsingtao Railroad. It would appear that the activity on both sides is inexcusable. Hence, even though negotiations suffer, General Marshall said he was not inclined to warn either side since each side contests activities of the other with equal vehemence concerning almost identical circumstances. In direct answer to the Generalissimo’s request for General Marshall’s opinion, General Marshall asked General Yu Ta-wei what he (General Yu) thought General Marshall should do, to which General Yu had no specific reply but again stated that the Generalissimo wanted General Marshall’s opinion.

General Marshall stated that he considered both sides in the wrong. He added that he hoped the conference which he had arranged between Governmental representatives and Communist representatives for the purpose of resolving civil administration matters with respect to Communist evacuated areas would soon develop a solution to that problem. At this point, it is the one problem which seemed to stand in the way of completing the various considerations now before the Committee of Three which are designed to bring about a complete termination of hostilities in all of China. General Marshall reminded General Yu that he had always feared these outrageous and stupid military actions on the part of both sides, probably in retaliation, and that this was the reason why he had advised the Generalissimo that the extension of the truce period for too long a period would probably permit the military situation to develop to a point beyond control.

General Marshall reiterated his position under the circumstances by saying that he was not free to approach either side and further than this he did not think the Generalissimo could say that negotiations would cease because the Communists can claim a cessation of negotiations also on apparently equal ground. General Yu Ta-wei said that the situation seemed to be becoming extremely critical particularly around Shantung. He added that each additional aggravation on the part of the Communists made more difficult the solution of the problem of civil administrations.

General Marshall stated that he was afraid foolish military Commanders on the Communist side—and this is applicable to the National side also—were motivated by an anxiety to demonstrate military power to cause governmental concessions on the political level. General Marshall added that the situation was so threatening that he saw [Page 1307]little hope of solution unless the special committee established for resolving the civil administration problem was soon able to arrive at a solution.

General Marshall closed by assuring General Yu that he would take up the grievances of each side with the other side and he informed General Yu that this meeting constituted his taking up the Communist grievances with the Government, i. e. General Yu Ta-wei. He informed General Yu that he would take up the Government grievances with General Chou tomorrow. General Marshall asked General Yu Ta-wei to make it clear to the Generalissimo that he (General Marshall) was not in a position to ask either side to cease negotiations or to support either side in its contention that negotiations should cease.

  1. Chinese Minister of Communications.