6-116 To Winston S. Churchill, October 13, 1947

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: October 13, 1947

Subject: Postwar

October 13, 1947
[Washington, DC]

My dear Mr. Churchill: Lew Douglas handed me your note on the plane flying back from Montreal where I had gone to accept a degree from McGill University.1 I appreciate sincerely not only the fact that you chose to write in your usual generous manner but that you had such encouraging and complimentary things to say about what I have been trying to do in these past eight months. At best it is a very difficult business and as you will realize even better than I can an affair of most critical importance to the entire world.2

I struggle to continue a calm consideration of all the factors and events but I feel at times that patience may cease to be a virtue. However I assume that I will continue to ignore provocative and misleading statements and deny myself the personal pleasure of expressing my feelings and opinions quite frankly.

I am to be in London the last week in November and shall look forward to the great pleasure of seeing you. Mrs. Marshall will not be with me. She was very much pleased by your comment regarding her book.3 Incidentally you as a great writer might be interested to know that she had never written anything before; that not a single sentence in her manuscript was changed, but her spelling required wholesale attention.

I flew into Washington this morning and am flying back to New York this afternoon to continue on my duties with the United Nations Assembly.

Please make my compliments to Mrs. Churchill–I have never forgotten her kindness to me, and believe me

Affectionately yours,

GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers (Secretary of State, General)

1. Lewis W. Douglas, who had become US ambassador to the Court of St. James in January 1947, had been principal of McGill University from 1938 to the end of 1939. Marshall received an honorary degree from McGill on October 6.

2. In a handwritten note, Churchill observed: “I rejoice to see the force & consistency wh[ich] you have brought into the Foreign Policy of the United States. I was particularly pleased that you sh[oul]d have mentioned me in connection w[ith] y[ou]r great proposals for European recovery. The moral cultural & sentimental niceties for the practical expression of wh[ich] I am working have been given an economic foundation on which by God’s mercy European revival may be solidly based. It gives me confidence in these days of anxiety—in some ways more painful than war time ordeals—to know that you are at the helm of the most powerful of nations, and to feel myself in such complete accord with what you say and do.” (Churchill to Marshall, September 24, 1947, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)

3. In a postscript to his letter, Churchill wrote, “Do tell Mrs Marshall how much my wife & I enjoyed her delightful book.”

Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Mark A. Stoler, Sharon Ritenour Stevens and Daniel D. Holt (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 2013- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 6, “The Whole World Hangs in the Balance,” January 8, 1947-September 30, 1949 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), pp. 222-223.