General Marshall to the President of the Chinese Executive Yuan (Soong)

Dear Dr. Soong: I was glad to learn that China had acquired the Calcutta stockpile. The terms under which the price was fixed at 66–⅔ percent of cost, plus 25 percent of 66–⅔ percent for original cost of transportation to Calcutta, plus $15.00 per ton from Calcutta to Shanghai with port loading and unloading to be done by the purchaser, and under which the Chinese purchase will be offset against our Yuan obligations to you, are in my opinion eminently reasonable.

I was also glad to learn that real progress is being made toward coordinating the whole program of priorities and supplies for railroad and shipping so that representatives designated by your Government, UNRRA72 and FLC can function together as one team.

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With the establishment of the offset principle and the elimination of tedious negotiations over each deal, I am sure that the sale of surplus property to China on the most generous terms the circumstances will permit will go forward smoothly and expeditiously and thereby contribute greatly toward meeting some of China’s most urgent requirements, particularly in the field of transportation. I have already taken steps to have the nineteen tankers in Singapore allotted for China and it is to be hoped that they will be available in fairly short order.

I should appreciate it if you would care to make comments on any specific urgent needs which we might be able to meet through FLC in your letter of acknowledgment.

Faithfully yours,

George C. Marshall
  1. United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.