Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Minutes of Meeting Between General Marshall and Mr. Beal86 at No. 5 Ning Hai Road, Nanking, December 2, 1946, 5:30 p.m.

Also present: Col. Caughey

Mr. Beal stated that the reason he wished to see General Marshall was to give him his reaction to the National Assembly. Mr. Beal stated that he had attended all of the meetings and noted that apparently the reaction in the United States to these meetings was unfavorable, whereas he got the opposite impression. He stated that at first the meetings seemed to be conducted without any definite procedure, [Page 579] but that at the third meeting, a document prepared by the Presidium to correct this aspect was adopted and thereafter the meetings appeared to be more orderly. Mr. Beal said that he thought the National Assembly had made a real start toward democracy and thought that the CCP was “out of luck” for not coming in. Mr. Beal said that he had little specific data upon which to base his opinion, but that his reaction was that the atmosphere surrounding the National Assembly is good. Mr. Beal mentioned the fact that the Generalissimo, on the third day, had tried to stop one of the speakers on the grounds that his discussion was too lengthy. The speaker retorted that no grounds existed to support the Generalissimo’s contention and the Generalissimo receded from his position; in other words, the Generalissimo, himself, is having lessons in democracy forced upon him.

Mr. Beal stated that he found the Draft Constitution sound and democratic. To this, General Marshall agreed, and stated that this was the consensus of the Embassy officers also. General Marshall added that he hoped no amendment would be made to the Constitution to vitiate its value.

General Marshall stated that he was very glad to get Mr. Beal’s reaction to the National Assembly.

  1. John R. Beal, American adviser to the Chinese Government on foreign press and political relations.