Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270
Draft Statement by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek56
The consistent policy of the National Government is to promote internal peace and national unity, to carry out to consummation the program of concluding political tutelage and inaugurating constitutional democracy with the purpose of achieving lasting peace and political stability for the country.
Since the conclusion of the PCC conferences last January, the Government has been, in accordance with this policy, exerting its utmost for the realization of the “Nationalization of the army” and “political democratization.” The convocation of the National Assembly is the only way to bring our country to peace, unity, reconstruction and democracy and has been for years the cherished desire of the National Government as a means to return political power to the people.
In accordance with the resolutions of the PCC, the National Assembly should be convocated on May 5, 1946. This was agreed upon by the various parties and non-partisans attending the PCC conferences. [Page 477] During the three months period from the conclusion of the PCC and the return of the Government to Nanking, late in April, the Government has made all preparations for the convocation of the National Assembly on the one hand and for the re-organization of the National Government on the other. The Government has entered into frank and sincere negotiations with the Communist Party and the various other parties and has repeatedly requested them to submit, on time, in accordance with the PCC resolutions, the lists of their candidates to the State Council and also the lists of their delegates to the National Assembly, in order that the re-organization of the National Government and the convocation of the National Assembly can be effected according to the agreed time schedule. But, the Communist Party did not submit their lists up to April 25, so that the re-organization of the National Government could not be effected soon enough and the convocation of the National Assembly had to be postponed.
Since it was proclaimed during our war of resistance that the National Assembly should be convocated within one year after the conclusion of the war, and since the convocation of the National Assembly is the only legal step by which the Government can return political power to the people, the Government, upon its return to Nanking, felt that the National Assembly should not be indefinitely postponed, thus preventing the realization of political democracy and therefore had to fix another date for its convocation. Thus, on July 4, an announcement was made by the Government to the effect that the National Assembly be convocated on November 12, leaving a period of four months for thorough discussions and full preparations among all parties concerned. At the same time, the Government expected that the Communists would settle all the pending problems with the Government and the National Assembly. The Government especially hoped that the Communists would cease their military activities menacing peace and disrupting communications, so that the National Assembly could proceed under peaceful circumstances.
I believe that my earnest desire for peace is well known to the whole nation, as I have made repeated announcements to that effect since my statement of August 14.57 Had the Communists sincerely carried out the Cease Fire Order58 and the Agreement on the restoration of Communications of last January59 and the Plan for Army Reorganization and Integration of last February,60 our internal peace would have been long realized. However, the Communists since [Page 478] March of this year first attacked and captured Ssupingkai, Changchun, Harbin and Tsitsihar, while the Government was proceeding to take over these places, and later attacked Taihsin and Tungchow in Northern Kiangsu and Taichow, Tehchow, Taiyuanfu, Tatung and Kaifeng in the Provinces of Hopei, Shantung, Shansi and Honan respectively. These facts are known to all. In so doing, the Communists have practically violated the Cease-Fire Order and various other military agreements together with all the resolutions of the PCC made since January 10. In particular, the Communists’ activities menacing peace and disrupting communications virtually compelled the Government to take self-defense measures and resist unwarranted attacks. The Government, however, has never given up the hope for the cessation of hostilities in order that internal peace may soon be restored.
In my recent statement of October 16,61 the Government showed a spirit of greatest tolerance and conciliation and hoped that it would be accepted by the Communists, in order that a complete settlement could be reached on all pending problems and that the Communists would submit their list of delegates to and participate in the National Assembly. The Communists, so far, have not made an affirmative reply, but, on the contrary, expressed their rejection to the eight points. The Communists have come to the conclusion that the Government’s conditioning the issuing of a Cease-Fire Order on the Communists’ submitting the list of their delegates to the National Assembly is an act of constraining. It is indeed difficult to understand.
Now the delegates to the National Assembly who have already arrived in Nanking, have all expressed their hope that the Government takes the initiative in first issuing the cease-fire order, so as to test whether the Communists are sincere in carrying out the PCC resolutions by participating in the National Assembly and thus bringing about peace to the country. General Marshall and Doctor Stuart have also made the same earnest recommendation. Even the various other parties and non-partisans have also repeatedly requested that the cessation of hostilities should be first effected. However, the cessation of hostilities will only be effective when it is enforced by both sides, since in the military conflicts of the past months, the Government troops have only been taking self-defense measures.
In response to the earnest appeals for peace and in order that the National Assembly can proceed smoothly under peaceful circumstances, the Government has ordered all its troops, including those in the North-east, to remain, pending further instructions, at their [Page 479] present positions and cease attacks on the Communist troops beginning from November …62 In the meantime, if the Communist troops have peaceful intentions and deference for the laws of the state, they should also remain at their present positions and stop their military advances.
It should be pointed out, however, that the Communist Party is a political party with armed forces. In order to achieve permanent peace and unity of the nation, the Government will readily provide ample opportunity for the Communist Party and other parties to develop along the proper track of democracy. Militarily, however, no political party should hereafter keep a private army and all troops should belong to the state. The Government, therefore, reserves the Communist quota of delegates to the National Assembly and hopes that they can attend the National Assembly and take part in the making of the constitution. On the other hand, it hopes that the Communists will appoint their representative without delay to attend the Military Sub-Committee headed by General Marshall, for the discussion on the disposition of troops and for the immediate implementation of measures for the restoration of communications and the re-organization and integration of the army, on the basis of the eight points embodied in my statement of October 16.
The above-mentioned decision shows the sincerity of the Government inasmuch as it accepts the recommendations of the delegates to the National Assembly, of the various parties and of the mediators, General Marshall and Doctor Stuart. It also shows that the Government is willing to comply with the cease-fire request made by all parties. Now that the Government has already issued the cease-fire order, the Communists cannot continue to argue that there is still an act of constraining. Therefore, all parties should participate in the National Assembly to accomplish the important task of making the Constitution.
At this juncture, I would like to make the following remarks:
- The National Assembly must be convocated according to schedule and any further postponement of which would only intensify political instability and the people’s sufferings. It should be recalled that the National Assembly was prevented from being convocated in 1937 by the aggression of our enemy. Now, with the war being over, there can be no justification for any further postponement. The postponement from May 5 of this year has already caused much delay in the progress of our nation. The present date of convocation was announced four months ago and therefore, it should not be further postponed.
- As regards the re-organization of the National Government, only one week is left between now and November 12, and in point of fact, it [Page 480] is absolutely impossible to take up such an important state affair and have it arranged within such a short time. With the grave responsibility on our shoulders, we should not attempt such a vital change light-heartedly. If all parties would comply with the PCC resolutions and participate in the National Assembly for the making of the constitution, then after the adjournment of the National Assembly, the Government would be ready to broaden the basis of government, in accordance with the PCC resolutions, so that all parties could participate in the National Government and the Executive Yuan for the implementation of the Program of peaceful reconstruction.
- The present National Assembly is a constitution-making body and is not a constitution-exercising body. This limitation of its functions is not only resolved by the PCC, but is also stipulated in the Organic Law of the National Assembly. I trust that the delegates to the National Assembly will not do anything beyond their legal functions.
- As regards the draft of constitution, the Government is ready to submit to the National Assembly the unfinished revised draft of the Constitution-drafting Committee. I trust that all delegates will take a humble and unbiased attitude in their deliberations so that a perfect and practical Constitution will be made without being strictly bound by the articles of the original May 5th Draft Constitution. However, the Government will certainly show full respect to the National Assembly in the free exercising of its legal functions.
- Within six months after the adjournment of the present National Assembly, a general election will take place according to the adopted Constitution. All parties and all citizens can then freely take part in this election, in order to bring into existence the next National Assembly, which will exercise its functions as stipulated by the Constitution.
- Personally I hope that the provisions concerning the amendment of the constitution will be practical and flexible. It is my particular hope that in the Second National Assembly, there will be ample opportunity for all parties to propose constitutional amendments in accordance with the stipulations of the Constitution if they deem it as necessary.
In conclusion, the constitutional government based on the Three People’s Principles is a people’s government. Only when the opinion of the people can fully reflect, through legal channels, upon the politics and laws of our country, will this system be deemed as successful. The present National Assembly is the beginning of constitutional government. Local delegates and professional delegates are all elected according to law and members of the various parties and non-partisans have also participated. We are confident that all delegates to the National Assembly will express the opinion of the people. Those parties which have not participated in the present National Assembly to fully express their views, still have a chance to appeal to their electors in the forthcoming general election to take place within six months after the adjournment of the present National Assembly and their views can be referred to the Second National Assembly for a decision by the people. Therefore, the Government is earnestly and consistently hoping [Page 481] that the Communist Party and other parties will comply with the PCC resolutions and that all participate in the making of the constitution, so as to accept the sincere co-operation of the Government, instead of continuing to reject the Government’s offer thus preventing the realization of constitutional democracy. If the Communist Party does not give up its prejudices and does not participate in the National Assembly in accordance with the PCC resolutions, but determines to reject the sincere co-operation of the Government, then the Government, in the interest of the country and the people, can neither make any further concessions nor wait any longer. It will have no other choice except fulfilling its solemn promise to the people of convocating the National Assembly within a year after victory. On the other hand, a general election will take place according to law six months after the adjournment of the present National Assembly, in order that the Second National Assembly will meet, and all questions may be referred to the people of the nation for a decision. In this way, a constitutional government will be brought into being within half a year, and the long cherished desire of the National Government of returning political power to the people may be fulfilled.
- Undated statement received by General Marshall prior to his conference with Generalissimo Chiang on November 7; see General Marshall’s notes of November 8 on meetings with the Generalissimo between November 5 and 8, p. 486.↩
- United States Relations With China, p. 649.↩
- January 10, vol, ix, p. 125.↩
- February 9. ibid., p. 422.↩
- February 25, ibid., p. 295.↩
- Ante, p. 377.↩
- Omission indicated in the original.↩