242 Officer to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 59 NANKING, 4 February 1949, 2.35 p.m.

IMMEDIATE TOP SECRET

My immediately preceding telegram 58. [1]

'For some time past China has been disturbed by open war between the nationalist Government and the Communist forces. This is China's own affair and how and when she settles it is an internal matter in which no outsider should interfere. But China is a permanent member of the Security Council and one of the greater members of the United Nations and so all of us must be concerned at the existence of a state of affairs which weakens and divides her. Recent reports indicate the almost universal desire for peace on the part of the suffering people of China.

For these reasons, we must all be anxious for an early end to this civil war. We all were very pleased when, some short time ago, the National Government proposed to the Communists a cease fire and the opening of negotiations, when the Communists on their side agreed to the opening of negotiations and put forward their terms for the settlement and the National Government accepted these points as a basis for negotiation.

Now that both sides have expressed their readiness to commence negotiations, I hope that they will commence negotiations without delay. I trust that both sides will refrain from any unnecessary bitterness or from putting forward harsh demands and make every effort to reach a very early agreement.'

1 Document 241.

[FA:OUTWARD ORIGTNAL (TS) 1948-50]