2-368 Editorial Note on Army Appropriations, February 12, 1941

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: February 12, 1941

Editorial Note on Army Appropriations

February 12, 1941

The convening of the new Seventy-seventh Congress opened another season of budgetary conferences and hearings for the chief of staff. But before the 1942 budget could be considered, Marshall had to appear before the House Appropriations Committee’s Deficiency Subcommittee on February 12 to defend the War Department’s request for a supplement of $680,118,000 to the fiscal year 1941 budget, which was ”necessary to complete the housing and shelter of our greatly increased Army.” The bulk of the appropriation covered construction projects, the expansion of the Air Corps, the Panama augmentation program of 1940, the acquisition of land for training sites, and the completion of projects authorized in fiscal 1941 but not yet completely funded. (House Appropriations Committee, Fourth Supplemental National Defense Appropriation Bill for 1941, Hearings [Washington: GPO, 1941], p. 3.)

“Frankly,” Marshall told the committee, “we had not anticipated that the American people would ever be sufficiently aroused to authorize in time of peace such a tremendous program for the national defense, nor had we anticipated the complete collapse of the French Government in early June, along with the deadly hazard to the British of a transfer of French naval power to Germany and Italy. Furthermore, it was necessary for us to study the campaigns, the occurrences in France and Belgium, in order to benefit to the full by the lessons indicated. The last required several months to assemble the facts from our attach

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