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Memorandum for the Secretary of War
April 15, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
The increasing gravity of the international situation makes it appear necessary for me to urge a further increase in our state of military preparation.
Should the present Congress vote the $37,000,000 for critical items of equipment set up in the President’s budget for 1941, and also the additional amount of $14,250,000 which was added for this purpose by the House of Representatives, there would still be a deficiency of $25,000,000 for the modern equipment necessary to outfit the existing units of the Regular establishment and the National Guard and to provide the special equipment, the new detectors, for our aircraft warning service, which is a pressing requirement. In my opinion we cannot afford to delay longer in placing the orders for this materiel.
I therefore propose that an urgent recommendation be submitted to the President to secure immediate budgetary authorization for an additional $39,250,000 for critical items over and above the approved 1941 budget. This sum includes the $14,250,000 referred to above, which, for the moment, has been added to the approved budget by the House.1
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS), 20983-106, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. This document was sent to the White House with a covering memorandum—also drafted by Marshall but signed by Secretary of War Harry H. Woodring—which concluded: “I concur fully in his recommendation and urgently recommend that it be approved. I feel that we cannot delay in this matter.” President Roosevelt penciled “Seems necessary. F.D.R.” on Marshall’s memorandum printed here.
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. 198.