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Memorandum for the President
September 25, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
Dear Mr. President:
In answer to your note of September 23rd regarding my ideas on the subject of bolstering up civilian morale, I make this suggestion:1
General Osborn tells me there is a civilian morale division in the Office of Civil Defense under the provisional name of Division of National Unity. Osborn has had some contact with this group and understands that they have spent several months working up plans which seem to have real merit. My suggestion, and I referred to it in my memorandum to you of September 6th, is that these people be told to start aggressively to carry out their plans. I assume that a message or suggestion from you would be all that is necessary to set the machine in motion.
I am embarrassed in the matter because this business would seem to be the responsibility of Mr. LaGuardia’s organization, and I imagine he would be resentful of my instigating pressure on him to allow his people to get under way with their ideas. However, the results of a lack of action in the purely civilian field react to the great complication of my task.
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. On September 23 President Roosevelt had replied to Marshall’s September 6 memorandum concerning civilian morale (see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-544 [2: 601-2]). “I have not had a chance to send you a line in reply to your memorandum of September sixth,” wrote the president. “In effect you say: (a) The boys in camp are O.K. (b) The parental influence hurts the morale of many of them. (c) Please, Mr. President, do something about this weakness on the part of the civilian population. Got any ideas?” (Roosevelt to Marshall, September 23,1941, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 618-619.