Memorandum by Brigadier General Marshall S. Carter to the Acting Secretary of State
Mr. Lovett: At noon Secretary Marshall telephoned me to state that I could expect a phone call from Madame Chiang to come to her residence to pick up a note to be delivered to Mr. Lovett. General Marshall stressed the Madame’s concern about security. The memorandum, according to General Marshall, was to be along the lines of that mentioned in his memorandum of conversation attached.43
General Marshall also told me to tell you that Madame had said she had not talked to or seen General Chou since she had come to Washington and that therefore Chou was not aware of what Sprouse44 was talking about.
Madame Chiang sent for me at one o’clock. She stated that she had been waiting almost four weeks for a decision from General Marshall; that the President and you had both made her think that General Marshall was the final word in the matter; that General Marshall today had told her he had not been in business for three weeks and was not familiar with all the actions that had been taken. She said General Marshall had stated that China would get more aid, but that it would have to be done by Congress. She said that would take a long time. I said yes, it probably would because Congress did not convene until January 3 and, as she knew, all such matters were time-consuming processes. She indicated great unhappiness at waiting so long for decisions. She asked me why we could not send a great military leader to China. She said General Marshall said the Government could not do it, but did not tell her why. I told her that I was not in the policy-making business, that I was purely a “leg man” and that I had no substantive knowledge of the problem, nor could I speak in any way of policy matters. She then asked me to arrange an immediate appointment with Mr. Lovett. I asked her if this was in lieu of the memorandum I was to take to Mr. Lovett. She appeared [Page 305]reluctant to consider the idea of putting her problem in writing. However, she stated as I left that she would have a memorandum to hand Mr. Lovett.
She stressed several times the extreme urgency of the situation, stating that a decision had to be made today. At no time did she give me any idea of what the problem was.