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Memorandum for the Secretary of War
February 6, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
Mr. McNutt saw the President regarding morale questions in civil communities near army camps. The President was unaware that there was such a problem!1 He directed McNutt to see me and get an agreement as to the army’s role and Mr. McNutts responsibility. McNutt saw me at noon and wants me and Mr Osborn to see the President, with him, tomorrow.
I have seen Mr. Osborn and Colonel Draper, (Dillon, Read & Co.) who is working with your advisory committee.2 They are seeing McNutt this afternoon and then will draw up a memo for me to McNutt. I will take the last up with you tomorrow A.M. before any further action is taken.3
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the Office of the Secretary of War (RG 107), Secretary of War Safe, Welfare and Recreational-Joint Army and Navy, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Handwritten memorandum signed.
1. For a recent example of this kind of problem, see Marshall’s radio message to Commanding General, Camp Beauregard, January 21, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-348 [2: 395]. Secretary Stimson also reacted with surprise that the president was just discovering that there was “a real big problem.” (February 7, 1941, Yale/ H. L. Stimson Papers [Diary, 33: 15].)
2. Frederick Osborn and William H. Draper, Jr., were New York businessmen acting as special assistants to Secretary Stimson. Both had served since October 1940 on the President’s Advisory Committee on Selective Service, and both were now on the War Department Committee on Education, Recreation, and Community Service. On July 22, 1940, the War Department’s Morale Division was created as part of the Office of The Adjutant General. This organization was redesignated as the Morale Branch and placed under the chief of staff’s direct supervision on March 14, 1941. Marshall discusses the reasons for this change in his letter to Hugh A. Drum, May 14, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-450 [2: 501-2].
3. Marshall and Osborn proposed that Charles P. Taft, younger son of the late President William Howard Taft, be appointed to coordinate the morale activities of the War Department, the Federal Security Agency, and various private organizations. (February 7, 1941, Yale/ H. L. Stimson Papers [Diary, 33: 15].)
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. 407-408,