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Lot #2063
Chou En-lai Typed Letter Signed

Seldom-seen 1946 letter organizing “transportation of supplies to the Communist Liberated Areas”

Estimate: $20000+
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Seldom-seen 1946 letter organizing “transportation of supplies to the Communist Liberated Areas”

Rare TLS in English, one page, 8 x 10.25, Communist Delegation Office letterhead, August 8, 1946. Letter to Mr. J. Franklin Ray, Jr., acting director of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration [UNRRA] in Shanghai. In part: “Your efforts towards overcoming difficulties in the way of the transportation of supplies to the Communist Liberated Areas are greatly appreciated. We associate ourselves fully with your view of the cancellation of passes system for shipment of supplies to the Liberated Areas. Certificates of UNRRA or CNRRA should be sufficient for obtaining free passage there. In light of this, we have already cabled to Yenan authorities asking them to give instructions to the local governments of various Communist Liberated Areas to this effect.” Light diagonal creases above the recipient’s address, trimming and show-through from mounting remnants to the top edge, and erased office notations to upper right, otherwise fine condition. Attractively and archivally double matted and framed with a photo to an overall size of 21.75 x 17.75.

The UNRRA was an international agency founded to organize the administration of relief measures such as food, fuel, clothing, and medical supplies to countries that had been hit especially hard during World War II. However, the end of WWII brought about the resumption of the Chinese Civil War in which the Nationalist and Communist factions battled for control. Although the UNRRA was supposed to be an apolitical humanitarian organization, it seemed that the vast majority of aid was falling into the hands of the Nationalists. Supply trucks bound for areas held by the Communists were also frequently intercepted by the Nationalists, who either seized the goods being transported or simply prevented them from reaching the Communist areas. According to Chou En-lai, the Communists controlled all or part of nineteen provinces yet received less than one percent of all UNRRA shipments into China. George C. Marshall spent the year of 1946 in China attempting to broker peace between the warring parties and reach a democratic resolution, but the relationship between the United States and the Communists had grown increasingly strained and by the time of this letter it seemed clear that these efforts were futile. By the end of the year it was clear that war was inevitable and President Truman called Marshall back to the US, where he began developing his next major project—the Marshall Plan. With fine content regarding the situation of China at the beginning of the Communist Revolution, this is an extremely rare and desirable letter. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Remarkable Rarities: Elite 100
  • Dates: #484 - Ended September 25, 2016

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
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