893.00/5–846: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Caffery)

2190. For the Secretary.

General Marshall has now made a detailed and very informative report27 on the situation in China which we forwarded to you today by pouch.
It is apparent from General Marshall’s report that he is now encountering great difficulties in accomplishing his mission. While the subject of Marine withdrawal is not discussed in General Marshall’s message, the views of Admiral Cooke and Generals Marshall and Gillem on this subject have been passed by the War Dept to General Lincoln in Paris in messages on the 2nd28 and 6th29 of May.
Your Delsec 465,30 as received here, contains a statement that, in your conversation with Molotov31 on the 5th you indicated to him [Page 868] that our troops in North China would be withdrawn in a month. Although the U. S–China Theater (Army) was deactivated as of May 1, with only small personnel of several thousand remaining behind to complete specified tasks,32 and the Marines in North China have been reduced in recent months from approximately 60,000 to 30,000, it is apparent that General Marshall considers it impracticable to withdraw the Marines from North China in the near future. Furthermore, the War and Navy Depts, although they have the matter under consideration, consider it inadvisable to make any commitment with regard to a future date for withdrawal. We, and it is believed General Marshall, concur in this opinion.
  1. Telegram No. 651, May 6, vol. ix, p. 815.
  2. Not found in Department files.
  3. Telegram No. 86972, supra.
  4. Telegram No. 2158, May 6, 2 p.m., not printed.
  5. Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, Soviet Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.
  6. Headquarters United States Army Forces China were deactivated on June 30 in a general reorganization of residual United States military functions in China. General Marshall considered inactivation of Headquarters desirable, as presence in China of a Headquarters with a name suggestive of a combat command was deemed an obstacle to successful accomplishment of his mission there. Headquarters functions were assigned to decentralized units for the time being.