Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Butterworth)

Participants: Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer, Director of Plans and Operations
Ambassador John J. Muccio47
W. Walton Butterworth, FE

Ambassador Muccio and I lunched at the Pentagon with General Wedemeyer today and in the course of our discussion of Korean matters, General Wedemeyer expressed one or two opinions about the Chinese situation which are worth recording.

He said that although there was no factual basis to be found in the reports reaching the Department of the Army, he had the conviction that the Chinese Communists had not decided to refrain from crossing the Yangtze River but were regrouping for an onward push at a time convenient to them, and that in the meantime through infiltration south of the Yangtze they were undoubtedly making strenuous efforts to soften up that area.

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Secondly, and more importantly, General Wedemeyer expressed the same opinion that General Barr had reported, namely, that the military balance in China had shifted so overwhelmingly in favor of the Communists that the latter had the capability of taking control of any part of the mainland. General Wedemeyer went on to say that he thought it was worse than useless to send any aid to the Nationalist areas of the mainland; that in his view the Chinese Communists would welcome such action on our part and wait until the aid arrived and then take it over together with the area.

W. W[alton] B[utterworth]
  1. Special Representative of President Truman to Korea.