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Memorandum for General McNair
June 11, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
I have just been hearing from Colonel Fiske the oft-repeated tale of confusion among the various United States Intelligence Agencies in Lisbon.1 The same confusion exists at other places, and certainly there is no concentrated effort. I wish you would look into this matter, approaching it on the basis of unity of command for Intelligence in various theaters. Where the interests are largely Naval, put all of our Army people in vicinities under Naval direction. In view of the fact that the Donovan organization is to act under the Chiefs of Staff, we might put his mission in direct charge of some particular theater.2 But let us see if we cannot find a solution by utilizing the principle of unity of command, which everyone is being rapidly educated to accept on the purely command basis.
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. Marshall had just met with Colonel Norman E. Fiske, military attaché at the United States Embassy in Rome, in the chief of staff’s office.
2. Colonel William J. Donovan had served as coordinator of information since July 11, 1941, with authority from the president “to collect and analyze all information and data which may bear upon national security.” (For Marshall’s comments on the organization of the information office, see Marshall to McCloy, June 28, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-498[2: 552–53].) On June 13, 1942, President Roosevelt issued a military order announcing that the office would thereafter be known as the Office of Strategic Services and would act under the direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America: Cumulative Supplement, Titles 1–3 [Washington: GPO, 19431, pp. 1169–70, 1308, 1324–25.)
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), pp. 236–237.