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Memorandum for the Secretary of War
August 11, 1945 Washington, D.C.
A letter to be dispatched to the Director of Selective Service when the Japanese surrender is accepted has been presented to you. It calls for reduction of inductions under the Selective Service Act from 80,000 a month to 50,000 a month. In my opinion, it is very important that this action be confirmed by the President and given immediate publicity. It is of even more importance that by this means the President give evidence of his intention to support us in continuing inductions on the reduced scale indicated. Only by this means can we continue the relief of the men who have had long and arduous service. There is much discussion of this subject in the press and in Congressional circles.1
In view of the above, I suggest the advisability of obtaining the President’s approval or at least informal concurrence for your action in dispatching the letter referred to General Hershey.2
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. Marshall enclosed a proposed press release justifying continuance of the draft as necessary to supply men for occupation duty and as replacements for those with lengthy wartime service. “Mathematically and morally no other course of action appears acceptable.”
2. On the file copy of this memorandum was written “not used,” and in Marshall’s hand: “Acted on by S/W. G. C. M.” President Truman approved the letter to Hershey on August 13, and a slightly modified version was issued over Secretary Stimson’s signature the following day. The letter stated that the army desired “the age groups which contain the fewest family men and the fewest industrially skilled experts” and only men below age twenty-six. (Stimson to Hershey, August 14, 1945, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
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. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 265-266.