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Memorandum for the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 [White]
July 30, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
Recently Sir John Dill was rather disturbed by our refusal, through the Special Services Division, to accept lectures or talks by a veteran leader of the British Commandos who had had command experience in North Africa. On investigation I found that the reason was that there was no money to defray the expenses. Only mileage was available for such lectures and this could not be paid to a British officer.
As I understand Mrs. Roosevelt’s proposition and the legal status, the question is whether or not the Treasury Department believes Mrs. Roosevelt’s offer could be lawfully accepted.1 Also it seems evident from the draft of the letter prepared for my signature that you do not feel that such lectures are particularly profitable.
One of the tragedies of our situation in 1938 and 1939 was that during the preceding twenty odd years the British had had virtually no contacts with us, were ignorant of our Leavenworth and War College courses and particularly of our Industrial Mobilization Plan. Here is an effort to provide some such contact on a continuing basis, not dependent on parsimonious appropriations in the post-war period.
Unless there is some reason for the refusal that I have missed, I am not in agreement with the proposal in your draft letter.2
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. Kermit Roosevelt, second son of President Theodore Roosevelt, had died in Alaska on June 4 while on assignment as a major in Intelligence. On July 14 his wife, Belle Willard Roosevelt, wrote to Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson to indicate her desire to establish a fund administered by the War Department in memory of her husband, who had served in the British Army in 1917-18 and 1939-41, to pay for lectures or courses of instruction to be given by British Army officers at West Point and elsewhere in the United States and by U.S. Army officers at Sandhurst and other places in the United Kingdom. (Patterson Memorandum to General Marshall, July 16, 1943, and Patterson to Mrs. Roosevelt, August 13, 1943, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 201 Roosevelt, Kermit (July 16, 1943)].)
2. The editors have not found the Personnel Division’s draft letter. On August 11 the chief of staff signed a memorandum drafted in G-1 which stated that “the proposal is an excellent one, and should be accepted,” although congressional authority would be needed to accept and administer the fund. (Marshall Memorandum for the Under Secretary of War, August 11, 1943, ibid.)
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. 76-77.