893.20 Mission/7–2648

The Secretary of State to the Secretary of Defense (Forrestal)

Dear Mr. Secretary: I have your letter of July 26, 1948 concerning the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in which you concur, that it would be desirable to establish a Joint United States Military Advisory Group in China at the earliest possible date.

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Negotiations with the Chinese Government with respect to the establishment of a joint advisory group have not been completed though informal negotiations between representatives of the Chinese and United States Governments had resulted in the preparation of a draft agreement. The Secretary of War, Mr. Patterson, in a letter of April 24, 1947 to the Secretary of State65 enclosed a copy of his letter to the Secretary of the Navy in which he recommended the establishment of a joint mission. In a memorandum of June 20, 1947 for the Secretary of State on “Naval Activities Affecting China” the Secretary of the Navy recommended that a joint military advisory group be formed when legislation permitted.66 Since no such legislative authorization has been obtained, we have taken no further steps to conclude an agreement with the Chinese Government for a joint mission.

I concur in the views expressed in your letter that the Navy and the Army, including the present Air Force, are authorized “pursuant to the Act of 19 May 1926 (44 Stat. 565) as amended (10 U. S. C. 540), during the continued existence of the present war or declared national emergency, to furnish officers and enlisted men of the various services to advise and assist the Republic of China by means of a Joint Military Advisory Group to China.”

I also concur in your opinion that the establishment of such a group is desirable and may be effected without the conclusion of further negotiations with the Chinese Government. It is understood that the appropriate Chinese authorities will be informed of the proposed reorganization prior to the time it is undertaken.

The draft directive forwarded with your letter meets with my approval.

Faithfully yours,

G. C. Marshall

[Subsequently, the Joint Chiefs of Staff authorized establishment of a Joint U. S. Military Advisory Group to the Republic of China (JUSMAGChina). On October 28 Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was informed that JUSMAGChina had been established, with Major General David D. Barr as Director and Chief of the Army Advisory Division, Rear Adm. Francis P. Old as Deputy Director and Chief of the Naval Advisory Division, Brig. Gen. Charles E. Thomas as Deputy Director and Chief of the Air Force Advisory Division, and Col. John C. Daly as Chief of the Combined Services Division.

After the Chinese Communist victories in Manchuria in October–November, the Joint Chiefs of Staff instructed General Barr on [Page 270] November 26 that the Joint United States Military Advisory Group would be withdrawn and its activities suspended if (1) Nanking was threatened directly by military attack, (2) if the National Government moved from Nanking, or (3) if the National Government fell. Withdrawal began in December and was completed March 1, 1949.]