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Memorandum for General Moore
September 28, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
Subject: Work for National Youth Administration students.
Mr. Aubrey Williams and one of his assistants called on me yesterday to see what could be done towards providing more actual work for the young men the NYA is attempting to train as mechanics, carpenters, etc. He stated that they were now producing Army bunks for South Charleston arsenal in West Virginia, to replace those that had been loaned to them by the Army; that they were manufacturing some thousands of ditty-boxes, or sea chests, for the Navy, etc.
Please have this matter surveyed to see if there are any things we could give them to make to supplement our supply business. We would have to provide the material. I have thought of a simple box locker to supplement those we procure of a more elaborate nature. I understand they are making an arm rack down in San Antonio for the Army. I should think there would be a number of things that would be helpful to us to have them produce with our placing only partial dependence on them.
There is another phase to this matter which I would like considered and regarding which I talked to Mr. Williams. I am going before the Senate Committee to try to have restored to our estimates the money for 15,000 civilians. I considered yesterday the elaborate set-up for permanent post overheads. Why can’t we offer the NYA jobs as helpers for all the various utility people—electricians, plumbers, carpenters, engineers, car mechanics, cooks, bakers, etc., etc. Certainly there is a possibility here of producing a tremendous amount of service without a charge against the military appropriations, at the same time offering practical instruction to a large number of young fellows.
The air people have used these boys to quite an extent on some posts, and the arsenals have used them. I believe some of the Quartermaster depots have used them. Please have some fellow with a vision talk this over with McSherry and see if we can’t do something big in regard to it.1
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. Aubrey Williams was the administrator of the National Youth Administration, a division of the Federal Security Agency. Lieutenant Colonel Frank J. McSherry was the General Staff’s liaison with the agency, and since July 1, 1940, he had been an administrative assistant with the Labor Division of the Advisory committee to the Council of National Defense.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers 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. 318-319.