Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270: Telegram

General Marshall to President Truman 58

1804. Dear Mr. President: The National Assembly has not yet proceeded far enough to give clear indication of its course though reactionary Kuomintang leaders’ domination is evident. Meanwhile I am awaiting communication of Chou En-lai at Yenan. His representative called on Stuart yesterday deeply concerned over threat of all out Government attack on Yenan and question as to whether we were to continue to exert our influence to compose the situation. Chou En-lai is committed to make a report to me as to whether or not the Communist General Committee desires me personally to continue my efforts in mediation and so far I have had no word. He saw me for a lengthy interview 2 days before he left and called formally with his wife the evening before he left.

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Meanwhile I had held aloof from the Generalissimo. The Deputy President of the Executive Yuan59 has been pressing me in the matter of financial assistance to meet the growing desperation of the economic situation. I have been very emphatic in stating to him that it is useless to expect the United States to pour money into the vacuum being created by the military leaders in their determination to settle matters by force, almost 90 per cent of the budget itself highly inflationary, going to military expenditures. Also that it was useless to expect the United States to pour money into a Government dominated by a completely reactionary clique bent on exclusive control of governmental power.

I am leaving for Tientsin this morning to talk to General Howard60 regarding immediate reduction of Marine forces to a level of about 5,000. I am trying to accomplish this now while there is no pressure no[r] heat over some minor crisis, and also because the larger force is of no particular advantage and merely increases the chances of trouble. From Tientsin I will go over to Peiping to arrange some adjustments there in Executive Headquarters, returning here about Wednesday.

G. C. Marshall
  1. Copy transmitted to the Acting Secretary of State by the War Department on November 23.
  2. Wong Wen-hao, for conversation on November 18, see p. 1022.
  3. Maj. Gen. Samuel L. Howard, Commanding General, U. S. 1st Marine Division (Rein) and Marines in North China.