893.24/2–1346: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in China (Smyth) to the Secretary of State

285. From Gen. Marshall for attention Col. Davis. Please endeavor to ascertain at earliest possible moment from Treasury very rough estimate of their tentative US dollars figure on total for settlement of our Army and Navy yuan indebtedness to Chinese. Tell them I realize difficulty and delicacy of committing themselves to any figure in advance of some knowledge of the Chinese demand. I would treat information as extremely tentative and absolutely secret. I need the information urgently to select some figure well within possible total to assist me in expediting offset deals for urgently needed railroad material and river shipping. [Marshall.]