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Memorandum for General Surles
March 9, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
I listened this morning to General Somervell’s birthday anniversary comments to the principal officials of the Army Service Forces. While he was making his statement it occurred to me that we might save ourselves many irritating reactions on the part of investigating committees, various interests, newspaper experts, etc., if what he said could be read by a large number of people.
As an ordinary press release I don’t think this would have any value because they would take little extracts and it would be printed in such a manner as to make little impression. It occurred to me that possibly if I sent the paper immediately with a personal note to the publishers of the Reader’s Digest, they might see fit to print it. If so it certainly would set a great many people straight regarding a wide variety of important matters. Take for instance his comments on the disposal of obsolescent equipment in comparison to costs of maintenance; if that were generally understood, half the radio commentators’ digs would be eliminated before they could be started.
Please read this through and give me your reaction as soon as possible.1 The portion where he talks of the morale of the Army Service Forces should be stricken out.
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. “The article as written demands too much background to appeal immediately to a publisher,” replied Major General Alexander D. Surles. “I recommend that I arrange with the Saturday Evening Post and Reader’s Digest to collaborate on an article which will contain an interview with General Somervell, embrace the highlights of his remarks and fill in the background according to the advice of the magazine experts.” (Surles Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, March 10, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) See the following document (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-282 [4: 332-33]).
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 331-332.