Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Minutes of a Meeting Between General Marshall and Dr. Leighton Stuart at No. 5 Ning Hai Road, Nanking, July 22, 1946, 4 p.m.

Also present: Colonel Hutehin56

Dr. Stuart stated he wanted to see General Marshall at 4:00 o’clock this afternoon before he went to his 4:30 meeting with Dr. T. V. Soong. His main object in coming at this time was to pass on to General Marshall the information concerning a probable Government announcement soon to appear in the papers. This Government announcement would probably have five main points:

All agreements prior to 30 June are to be carried out;
There would be a greater attempt made to settle differences or issues, particularly Communist issues, by political rather than military means;
There would be detailed consideration given to the settlement of scattered conflicts;
There would be a full explanation given soon as to what is intended by the convention of the National Assembly to begin 12 November. Dr. Stuart elaborated to say that this explanation would show what is being done and why, with particular reference to the establishment of constitutional government.
Other parties are to be included for the purpose of giving the present Government a wider basis.

Dr. Stuart thought the papers would infer that this Government pronouncement was influenced largely by General Marshall’s and his activities on their recent visit to Killing. Papers would conjecture about certain meetings held with the Generalissimo in Killing.

General Marshall replied that he was glad to hear this news and that they probably had had some effect upon the Generalissimo in their discussions the last few days.

Dr. Stuart then stated that General Chou En-lai was coming to [Page 1394] see him some time this evening, although the exact hour was not known. He had already met with three of General Chou En-lai’s assistants, at which time he urged the Communists to take this opportunity to make a dramatic gesture such as complete Communist withdrawal from northern Kiangsu. He emphasized that this was the ideal time to break the current stalemate in the negotiations and that such a gesture would probably do the trick.

General Marshall then described his activities in Kuling after the departure of Dr. Stuart on Saturday. He also spoke of his action regarding Chinese legislation now before Congress. General Marshall told Dr. Stuart that he had advised Washington not to stop the legislation but to let it come up for consideration. He had then been urged to submit statements or to exert pressure on certain leaders in order to facilitate passage of the bill. In reply to this, he had just sent a message this date57 in which he stated he did not want personally to urge the passage of this legislation and yet at the same time he did not want it withdrawn, because he felt it might be of some help to him if the State Department allowed it to go up before Congress and the Congress declined or failed to act. If he urged that the bill be passed, it would just accentuate another point of friction. However, if the Congress either disapproves the bill or just left it undecided by adjournment of the Congress on 27 July, it might have a sobering effect upon some aggressive leaders in China.

Dr. Stuart agreed and stated that he was quite optimistic about the most recent trend of events. It looked to him like the time was ripe for really accomplishing something. There was just the bare possibility, although it was distinctly only a possibility at this time, that the Generalissimo could be prevailed upon to issue his order for the cessation of hostilities.

  1. Lt. Col. Claire E. Hutchin, member of General Marshall’s staff.
  2. Telegram No. 1164, July 22, vol. x, p. 753.