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To Bernard M. Baruch1
July 20, 1939 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mr. Baruch:
I have just this moment read your letter of July 19th,2 and learned for the first time of your misfortune in having to undergo a mastoid operation. My full sympathy goes to you, and I am delighted to judge from your letter that you have fully recovered.
I have been concerned about General Pershing’s health in France, as he had—most confidentially—several attacks. He has endeavored to minimize this, and emphatically denies them. I suppose they are inevitable under the circumstances, but it worries me to have him off in France even though he seems to be particularly happy there the pleasanter period of the year.
I am well aware of your important part in the stirring up of the national conscience to our serious situation last year, and the tremendous effect it had on public opinion. I also recall the views you expressed on South America in previous years, and your brief comment to me in my office here in the War Department not so long ago. I do hope I may have an opportunity to talk things over with you personally, and if I am in New York I will try to make an appointment with you in advance, and if you are in Washington I hope you will lunch with me.
I have an invitation to shoot ducks at the mouth of the Mississippi. It should be “to shoot at ducks”, but it recalls a very amusing expedition with you.
With warm regards, and thanks for your letter
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. As General Pershing’s aide, Marshall had become acquainted with Baruch, a politically influential financier and the former chairman (March-December 1918) of the War Industries Board. (See Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-315 [1: 385].)
2. Baruch’s letter mentioned his operation and that General Pershing had visited him in the hospital prior to his departure for France. “As you are aware, or can find out upon inquiry,” Baruch wrote, “I did as much as anybody to stir up the action which resulted in the expenditures which are giving the Army a part of what they need. I know we have not yet a well balanced program and as soon as I get on my feet, I am going to go after it again. I was in hopes we would have a neutrality legislation that would permit the manufacture of airplanes and the export thereof during war, because I wanted to see a development in this country that our orders alone would not permit. Also, I wanted the United States to take first place again in quality and quantity. I do not know whether you have seen expressions of my views on the South American situation, and what I considered adequate preparedness. These were expressed back in 1936 and 1937. Always remember that the Army, and you particularly, have a friend in me if I can be of any use.” (Baruch to Marshall, July 19, 1939, 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. 16-17.