4-160 Memorandum for the Secretary of War, November 8, 1943

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: November 8, 1943

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for the Secretary of War

November 8, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]


Attached are clippings of some of the recent newspaper articles regarding my Presidential possibilities.1

My proposal is that at your next press conference, Thursday, you refer to this matter in some such manner as follows:

I regret very much the recent references to General Marshall of a political nature. Such discussions cannot be otherwise than harmful to our war effort on which everything must be concentrated. I know they are embarrassing to General Marshall and furthermore, I feel that they make his present task more difficult.

I can speak with authority in stating that there has been no discussion of this nature with General Marshall by anyone. Further, that he will never permit himself to be considered as a possible Presidential candidate. His training and ambitions are not political.

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. Following a number of Democratic party reverses in the elections on November 3, a group of anti-Roosevelt Democratic senators began seeking ways to counter moves to nominate the president for a fourth term in 1944. They discussed Marshall as a possible alternative to Roosevelt, although the general’s party affiliation was not known. On November 6, Senator Edwin C. Johnson of Colorado asserted: “The ‘New Deal’ is through! . . . This is a time to draft men. In this grave crisis the Democratic party owes it to the people to draft Gen. Marshall for President. He is not a candidate and he will emphatically say so, but no patriotic American from George Washington down can refuse such a call. George Marshall is not only a very great soldier and military leader, he is a fine Christian gentleman and a statesman in the highest concept of that much-abused term. He has depth and he has capacity. He is firm and he is courageous. He has tact and he has the respect and confidence of the Congress and the people regardless of party. He is the man of this tragic hour.” (New York Times, November 7, 1943, sec. 1, p. 27.)

Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 184-185.

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Holding ID: 4-160

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