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Memorandum for General Blanding
December 20, 1939 [Washington, D.C.]
I have been much impressed with the splendid response of the Guard to the special training program, now about completed. But I am also impressed by the fact that the initial excitement of September has somewhat cooled, and as a result the question of employers and employees in the maintenance of jobs is becoming a matter of serious concern. This, I assume, will continue to develop until a fresh excitement generates a new impulse.
In view of the foregoing it seems to me that for the time being we should rather turn off the heat, as it were, at the same time not giving public indication of any intention to abandon these additional drills—particularly in view of the fact that we are now involved in appropriation requests for the purpose of maintaining them. I, therefore, suggest sending out direct to The Adjutants General and by air mail some such statement as the following:
The splendid work that has been carried out in the special training of the National Guard during the past two months is very commendable. The serious sacrifices made by employees and by employers in relation to their jobs is also greatly appreciated. In view of the splendid progress that has been made to date, and in order to not cause too much interference with the civilian employment of members of the Guard, the War Department wishes to inform you that it sees no objection to relaxing in the matter of additional drills. It is therefore directed that the period for holding the special Army drills already authorized, be extended to March 1, 1940.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
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), p. 121.