2-247 Memorandum for the President, August 27, 1940

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: August 27, 1940

Memorandum for the President1

August 27, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]


I understand that you have authorized a board of Naval officers to survey the sites for prospective bases in the Newfoundland and Caribbean areas under the proposed arrangement with Great Britain.2

Since the close-in defense of these bases, as well as Army air fields in the same localities will be the responsibility of the Army, I think it desirable that there be representatives of the Army on this board. I do not know how large a group you have under consideration, but I suggest that Brigadier General Edmund L. Daley (now in command in Puerto Rico) and Lieutenant Colonel Harold F. Loomis, War Plans Division of the General Staff, be included in the membership of this board.

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. Marshall wrote this memorandum for Secretary of War Stimson’s signature.

2. The destroyers-bases agreement was contained in an exchange of notes between British Ambassador Lord Lothian and Secretary of State Cordell Hull on September 2, 1940. The ambassador’s note stipulated that Great Britain would “make available to the United States for immediate establishment and use naval and air bases and facilities for entrance thereto and the operation and protection thereof” in Newfoundland, Bermuda, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Antigua, and British Guiana “free from all rent” for ninety-nine years. (Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers, 1940, 5 vols. [Washington: GPO, 1955-61], 3: 73-74.) Secretary Hull’s note declared that the United States would immediately transfer fifty destroyers. In addition, “the Government of the United States will immediately designate experts to meet with experts designated by His Majesty’s Government to determine upon the exact location of the naval and air bases mentioned.” (Ibid., 3: 74-75.)

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), p. 295.

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