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Draft for Portion of Talk by the Speaker of the House 1
July 22, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
For a long time there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the problem of manpower, which daily grows more acute with the necessity for an increase in the production of war materiel and the urgent requirements for farm labor.2 The year and a half following Pearl Harbor has been a terrible struggle for a democracy such as ours to prepare itself in men and materiel for the greatest war in history. We have not only had to create an Army virtually out of whole cloth and then transport it over the seven seas, but it has been necessary for us to provide our Allies with tremendous quantities of equipment, planes, guns, trucks, and ammunition, as well as foodstuffs and raw materials, all these to be carried through the menace of the submarines.
This has meant the withdrawal of manpower from the civil economy of this country to build factories, to manufacture munitions, ships and planes in vast quantities, or to become soldiers or sailors. Today the task remains an immense one, but we now see the light not only in preliminary victories on land and sea and in the air but in the fact that our great war Army of more than ninety divisions and approximately a thousand squadrons of planes has so taken shape that it is now possible to level off as it were and concentrate on perfecting its quality, maintaining its strength against the casualties of sickness or battle. Already the numerous training schools for officers have been greatly reduced and the same steps have been taken regarding the multitude of installations throughout the country for the training of specialists such as mechanics, signal men, gunners, etc. No longer will it be necessary for divisions of the Army, struggling to reach a high state of efficiency with only a dozen or less officers of the Regular Army to assist in the process, no longer will it be necessary for them to furnish large cadres of their best officers and noncommissioned officers to create new units. They are now free to concentrate solely on their own perfection. Furthermore, in contrast to the agonies of expansion which had to be suffered because of our previous lack of preparation, numerous officers and men, veterans of many missions in the air or actual fighting on the ground, are now being returned home and assigned to units in this country to provide an invaluable experience for the better efficiency and protection of our young men.
The women are daily playing a more and more important part in our war effort. The Women’s Auxiliary Corps of the Army will probably replace hundreds of thousands of men, and do the special work given them maybe a little better than the men did. They are making a splendid record at this today. In the factories and on the farm already they have enlisted in large numbers, but many more will be required because the expansion of production demands large numbers of additional workmen.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Categorical Materials, Speeches and Writings, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed draft.
1. The editors have not ascertained whether Speaker Sam Rayburn used Marshall’s draft.
2. Local labor shortages had begun to appear in 1942, and this trend grew in intensity during early 1943 until it had begun to affect war production as a whole by mid-1943, by which time the labor force was almost fully mobilized. In July the War Manpower Commission predicted a manpower crisis when it estimated that employment in munitions and related industries would have to increase by 1,700,000 by January 1944 to meet production programs. (Bureau of Demobilization, Civilian Production Administration, Industrial Mobilization for War: History of the War Production Board and Predecessor Agencies, 1940-1945, volume 1, Program and Administration [Washington: GPO, 1947], pp. 701, 711; Bureau of the Budget, The United States at War: Development and Administration of the War Program by the Federal Government [Washington: GPO, 1946], pp. 430-32.)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 68-69.