Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Notes on Meeting Between General Marshall and General C. P. Lee36 at General Marshall’s Residence, Nanking, November 18, 1946, 10 a.m.

Also present: Captain Soong37

General Lee stated that the situation today is extremely critical. There seem to be two possibilities. One is an open bloody revolution at the end of which the Government would be totally destroyed. The other one is renewed hope for a peaceful settlement if action would be taken by the United States Government or the United Nations Organization, or if the Generalissimo would resign his post. He further stated that public opinion regarding the present government is rapidly deteriorating and that the situation today offers the Communist Party its best opportunity to win over the Chinese people. General Lee then said that third party members, such as Mr. Hu Lin,38 have lost considerable stature through the present tragic situation because of failure to speak to the Generalissimo in a most frank manner. The present Government policy has thrown all the monetary resources into war. Such a policy has driven many good and capable persons to the Communists’ side.

General Marshall then said that there are two things apparent to him. One is that the military leaders are now in the saddle and are thoroughly convinced that the Communist Party will not go through with any agreement reached. The other is, the strong political clique in the Kuomintang is firmly convinced that a coalition government is not possible because the Communists would merely disrupt such a government. With these two forces working together, they have produced the tragic situation of today. General Marshall also mentioned that it is clear to him that the Government is merely using the negotiations to prove its point of view regarding the Communist Party.

General Lee then said that the hope for settlement now rests largely on General Marshall and the American Government because they can [Page 551] force the Government to take a different course by openly announcing the discontinuance of support to the present Government. However, General Marshall stated that the U. S. Government cannot pursue a course of action that will destroy the foundation of the Chinese Government.

  1. Chen-pien Lee, Director of the Serum Institute of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense.
  2. John L. Soong, U. S. Army, language aide to General Marshall.
  3. Editor of the newspaper, Ta Kung Pao.