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Memorandum for the Secretary of War
March 23, 1944 Washington, D.C.
Subject: Congressional Relations.
We are approaching a very critical period on the Hill which makes the matter of our relationship with the members of Congress all the more important. At the present time the Legislative and Liaison Division handles all matters relating to legislation and a representative of Judge Patterson, with associates in his office, is in charge of War Department relations with congressional investigating committees.1 Existing instructions require coordination but in actual practice, I believe, the pressure of business has created two independent agencies, which is fundamentally unsound.
Legislation and investigation are so interwoven that I believe it not advisable to handle them as separate issues, that is, by different organizations. The present system of dual liaison has been in effect over an extended period and I believe with increasing confusion in our relationship with Congress. This matter has been brought to my attention in a number of cases by members of Congress and also by General Persons, who is in charge of the Legislative and Liaison Division.2
The problem involves such a critical relationship for the coming months that I wish you would consider the rearrangement of the existing dual organization. In this connection I should like to say that there is an immense amount of business done in handling matters and in protecting us from complications on the Hill that is of great importance to our conduct of the war.
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the Office of the Secretary of War (RG 107), Secretary of War Safe, Staff, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. Special Assistant to the Secretary of War Julius H. Amberg, with associates in Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson’s office, handled War Department relations with congressional investigating committees.
2. Brigadier General Wilton B. Persons was chief of the Legislative and Liaison Division.
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. 367-368.