Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270: Telegram

Colonel Marshall S. Carter63 to General Marshall

95133. Your 113864 to General Handy65 refers. The following message was prepared by Admiral Leahy66 and presented to the President for approval. Mr. Truman gave the message to Mr. Byrnes, indicating to the Secretary of State that if Mr. Byrnes thought it should be sent it was all right with him, the President. Mr. Byrnes then handed the message to me and stated that the whole matter was entirely up to you for decision. Accordingly the message follows herewith for delivery to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek if and when you consider appropriate, or for such other disposition as you direct.

“Circumstances which warranted the assignment of Lieutenant General Wedemeyer67 as your Chief of Staff and the necessity for coordination of the efforts of the United States Forces with the Central Government Forces which he so effectively accomplished under your direction, have changed so much that the continuation of an American officer as your Chief of Staff appears to be no longer an essential necessity.

[Page 1398]

In view of the above and in view of an urgent need for the services of Lieutenant General Wedemeyer with the United States Army at home, I regret the necessity of informing you that it will not be possible for him to return to China. Signed the President.”

The following message from General Wedemeyer to the Generalissimo is forwarded at General Wedemeyer’s request for delivery if and when you consider appropriate.

“No doubt you have been informed that I may not return to China. As a soldier you will understand that I shall accept any post that my Government desires me to fill. I wish to extend heartfelt thanks to you and the Chinese government officials, as well as the Chinese people, who uniformly cooperated in an unselfish and effective manner with all members of the United States Forces, China Theater, in war effort against the Japanese. I reaffirm my complete faith in the ability of China under your inspiring and selfless leadership to emerge from the current difficulties of rehabilitation and adjustment, to become a strong, prosperous and happy nation. A personal letter follows. Signed Wedemeyer.”

Please advise me as to text and timing of any messages delivered so that I may inform Mr. Byrnes and General Wedemeyer.68

  1. General Marshall’s representative in Washington.
  2. July 18, p. 1384.
  3. Gen. Thomas T. Handy, Deputy Chief of Staff, U. S. A.
  4. Fleet Adm. William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman.
  5. Lt. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, until April 5, Commanding General, U. S. Forces, China Theater.
  6. On July 25 Colonel Carter informed the Secretary of State that General Marshall had advised him that President Truman’s message, “exactly as approved by you and the President”, was delivered to President Chiang on July 24 (121.893/7–2546).