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To Bernard M. Baruch
April 9, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mr. Baruch:
When I returned from the House Committee this morning I found a note of your telephone message at 10:30, stating that “everything was set” and that you had seen the people concerned and that it was up to me to say what was wanted and I would get it. I called you at the Carlton but found that you had checked out, and I was very sorry not to have had at least a few moments to talk to you over what had occurred and particularly to thank you for what you had done.1
I am deeply grateful for the unselfish and patriotic effort you have made to help the Army out, and I am certain that your interest will have an important effect on the result because undoubtedly you have convinced leading men on the Hill of the gravity of the situation and of the importance of something being done immediately.2
From your message I gather that you will probably go to Benning about the 15th and that Miss Baruch will go with you. I will see that the necessary arrangements are made for you there, and I am very much pleased that you have decided to make that trip.
With warm regards and my very personal thanks,
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Baruch informed the secretary of the General Staff that he had arranged a dinner to be given by Senator Byrnes for the Senate leadership on the evening of April 10, 1940. Marshall was invited to attend and to present his views on military preparedness and the budget. (Memorandum to Chief of Staff, April 9, 1940, GCMRL/G. C Marshall Papers [Pentagon office, Selected]; Bernard M. Baruch, Baruch: The Public Years [New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1960], p. 278.)
2. Baruch was widely thought in Washington to have important influence in Congress. In mid-1937, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes had noted in his diary, “Bernie Baruch has very strong influence with quite a group of southern Senators and Representatives. He has moved in on occasions when they needed funds for campaign purposes or otherwise and has financed them generously, with the result that, other things being equal, they are likely to do what he wants in matters of legislation.” The Secret Diary of Harold L. Ickes, 3 vols. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1945), 2:164.
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. 189-190.