S/P Files: Lot 64 D 563

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Prepared in the Department of State

top secret
Participants: First Party and Second Party.
Telephone conversation 5:10 p. m.

Second Party said Third Party is most anxious to travel to London as soon as possible. He said Third Party believes that important communications have been forwarded to him in London in the belief that he would have been there long before this time. He said Third Party had received no recent communications from his principals in Peiping—at least this is what Third Party had imparted to Second Party and Second Party believes it.

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Third Party was quoted as giving the opinion that Mao Tse-tung is being held in duress by the Stalinists. He believes that Li Li-sen1 or Liu Shao-chi are now riding high and are pretty thoroughly in charge of the Peiping situation. This is based on no particular word from Peiping but from his sense of the situation as related to what he reads in the papers. He believes that the prospect of a deviation of the Peiping Government from the Kremlin line has now become impossible and that the only course to break Peiping away must be a coup d’etat. He believes that the time for this is near at hand if not already at hand.

Third Party believes that the critical questions will soon be not as to whether or how to encourage a coup d’etat but how to establish working relations for assisting the régime to come into existence as a result of a coup d’etat.

Second Party had questioned Third Party regarding dispositions and numbers of submarine preparations along the lines of the questions in the memorandum of conversation of February 26, 1951. He had approached this by indirection. It was apparent to him that Third Party had no specific or recent information regarding the training of submarine crews in China. Third Party had made references in conversations to Hainan and expressed his assurity that use was being made of the former Japanese naval base there. Third Party had been blank, however, on the question regarding the crew of the cruiser Chungking.

Second Party said Third Party emphasized that a very great impetus to a division on the mainland could be gained at this time by a political reorientation on Formosa eliminating Chiang Kai-shek from the primary position.2

  1. Li Li-san, Minister of Labor, People’s Republic of China.
  2. The file includes memoranda of four subsequent conversations between First Party and Second Party between March 20 and April 26. They dealt primarily with Third Party’s efforts to obtain a visa to visit the United Kingdom or Switzerland in order to establish communication with his principals and, perhaps, to return to China; there was some discussion of the possibility that Second Party might go to Switzerland in order to maintain a channel of communication between Third Party and the Department (S/P Files: Lot 64 D 563). The series concludes with the April 26 memorandum, but see Marshall’s memorandum of conversation, May 4, 1951, p. 1652, and the editorial note, p. 1716.