2-171 Memorandum for Colonel Ward, May 15, 1940

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: May 15, 1940

Memorandum for Colonel Ward

May 15, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]

We must be prepared in the next few days—and immediately in conversations with the press, to off-set the clamor that will be raised by the opponents of the Administration and by the pacifists on the basis that tremendous amounts of money have been spent and now we claim we are not prepared and are asking for much more.

Of course, we know the answer, but it is necessary to get the data in such form that it is readily usable. Please have rough estimates of the following prepared for my use and that of the Secretary of War, and the Press Section: Percentage of annual appropriations from 1934 to 1940, year by year, that went for fixed charges,—that is, pay, rations, clothing, transportation, maintenance, and matters of this sort, which are high according to American standards of living, and the cumbersome manner in which the Army must be administered under the peculiar laws which have been passed, and the dispersed state of the troops in many posts, and the necessity of handling each individual soldier in such a manner that we can report on his health, allowances, and location, at any time to Congress.

I think it will be best to make the break-down without the amounts, so that I may see the manner in which the data is to be gathered. I repeat again, these are to be rough requirements; I do not want minute calculations, we have not time for such.1

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed memorandum.

1. During his May 17 testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, Marshall discussed this issue and presented two charts: one giving regular and supplemental War Department military appropriations for 1920 through 1940, and the second giving a functional breakdown of army expenditures and obligations for 1937 through 1940. (See Military Establishment Appropriation Bill for 1941, pp. 429-31.)

Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 213-214.

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