3-586 Memorandum for General Somervell, April I, 1943

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for General Somervell

April I, 1943 Washington, D.C.


I sent a memorandum to the President on the food question in line with your notes to me.1 I have had no comment. In it I recommended that he listen to that presentation of the ration investigation, telling him that it would require about thirty minutes. Possibly you will hear from this.

Yesterday Justice Byrnes at luncheon spoke in high commendation of the quick cooperation he got in meeting the food dilemma in the Northeast by suspending Army and Navy buying for two weeks. He spoke of some General, in the Quartermaster General’s department, I presume, who discussed the details with him and seemed to have made an excellent impression.

Mr. Byrnes thought it would be an excellent thing if the presentation I referred to were made to Senator Truman’s Committee who have dipped into this somewhat. I fear that they would advertise the fact that we have reduced the ration of the men, who would immediately set up a howl. However, I should like you to think this over.2

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 167), Records of the Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS), 430, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Typed memorandum.

1. See Marshall Memorandum for General Somervell, March 26, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-571 [3: 608-9], and Marshall Memorandum for the President, March 29, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-577 [3: 615-16.]

2. Lieutenant General Brehon B. Somervell replied that President Roosevelt had referred the memorandum regarding food conservation to James F, Byrnes—having resigned from the United States Supreme Court in October 1942 to accept appointment as director of economic stabilization—who had suggested that the president listen to the ration presentation. At Byrnes’s suggestion, Somervell had already arranged a presentation for Senator Truman, although he intended to mention the reduction of rations as little as possible. Byrnes was suggesting, Somervell informed Marshall, a presidential release of “all except ‘reduction of ration’ matter contained in your memo.” (Somervell’s handwritten reply was added to the bottom of this document.)

Recommended Citation: ThePapers 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. 625.

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