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Memorandum for General McNair
November 12, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
I have not heard anything from you since the talk I had with you and General Hershey regarding the possibility of using troops to help out in the civilian manpower crop situation. We have had a desperate fight to maintain our Army strength, as a matter of fact (and this is most confidential) I have had to go to the President with a flat written statement, under my direct responsibility to him in matters strategical, tactical, and operational, stating in effect that if the letter directive we now have from the Budget, which cuts us a million men, is not revoked it will jeopardize our success in the war.1 So the business is extremely difficult. I would have been helped immeasurably if I could have held out any hope of using troops or men under certain conditions to get in the major crops in certain regions. Therefore I would like either to hear from you on this subject formally or have you come up to talk to me about it, but I cannot let it drift.
Another phase of the same matter—I want a very careful survey made to see where we might economize in Continental use of troops, where women can be used, where our military police and other similar details can be curtailed, and where small installations possibly can be vacated, In all places that this pertains to your affairs I wish you would have a thorough examination made.
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. See Marshall Memorandum for the President, November 9, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-399 [3: 428-30].
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 435.