Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Vincent) to the Secretary of State

Attached is the text of your telegram to General Marshall,91 of which you spoke last night, in regard to a statement to the press on [Page 854] the deactivation of the U. S. Army China Theater and withdrawal of the Marines.

Although you have General Marshall’s approval of such a release, I believe it would be advisable, for the reasons I mentioned last night (principally War Department concern over the matter) to withhold action until General Marshall arrives.92

I have talked with Ben Cohen93 and he and I are in agreement that, when you do have the chance to discuss the matter with General Marshall, you endeavor to get his concurrence in issuing a statement which would give a date, or dates, for the deactivation and withdrawal. This, of course, will require consultation with the War Department, but Ben and I feel that the War Department should now be able to decide upon dates which can be made public and which would not be subject to change unless absolutely necessary due to important unforeseen circumstances. The dates should be as soon as practicable and certainly not later than June 30. If question arises with regard to our carrying out certain commitments to China with respect to transfer of Chinese troops and their logistic support, I am satisfied that our Naval units in China waters can discharge this responsibility, which now rests with the U. S. Army China Theater, in as much as sea transportation is the principal factor.

  1. No. 98685, February 27, p. 849.
  2. General Marshall left China on March 11 to report to President Truman.
  3. Counselor of the Department of State.