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Memorandum for the Secretary of War
June 5, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
The Ambassador from the Argentine called on me personally this morning to extend an invitation from his Government, in the name of the Secretary of War, for me to be present at the celebration of the anniversary of the independence of the Argentine—on July 9th. He informed me that similar invitations were being issued to the senior Army officers in Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.1
In an off the record discussion apropos of his appreciation of the fact that I am very closely engaged here in Washington, he commented on the rising tide of feeling as a result of the increased activity of Nazi propaganda and the recent British reverses in the Near East.2 He thought that such a meeting at this particular moment might have great weight in influencing Army circles. When I discussed the possibility of selecting an appropriate representative other than myself—I mentioned Lieut. General Van Voorhis, he advised against any suggestion of this nature, at least from this end of the line. He thought that the inference resulting from the presence of the senior officers of the other countries and a subordinate from this country would be unfortunate, that the proposal of such substitution should come from the Argentine, but whether or not they would make it he did not know.3
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. The ambassador from Argentina was Don Felipe A. Espil.
2. The British had been driven from the mainland of Greece in April and from the island of Crete at the end of May. In North Africa, Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel’s forces continued to advance into Egypt. Meanwhile, the British had had to dispatch troops to suppress a pro-Axis revolt in Iraq.
3. After Argentina agreed to invite an officer designated by the chief of staff, Marshall instructed Major General Frank M. Andrews to attend the ceremonies in that nation. (His instructions are in Marshall to Van Voorhis, June 26, 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. 527-528.