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To Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.1
August 2, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
I understand that the hearings on the four billion dollar appropriation bill are to be taken up by the Senate next week. I suggest that if you and Mr. Knudsen appear before the Committee and the same line of questioning is followed as that that took place before the House Committee, you make clear your reactions in regard to the sufficiency of the appropriations under discussion. I am referring to the matter of the wisdom of deferments from the original recommendation of six billion.2
There is attached a break-down, which shows the original totals, and the deferments I have just referred to.3
Confidentially, the situation is this: The War Department made a recommendation to the President, which was processed by the Budget. In that process a little short of two billions was subtracted from the totals recommended.
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. Marshall had been acquainted with Stettinius for many years, having had business dealings with his father following the World War. (See Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-233, [1: 275-6].) Stettinius had been chairman of the board of the U.S. Steel Corporation until June 4, 1940, when he resigned to devote his time to mobilization work. On August 9, 1939, he had been appointed chairman of the War Resources Board, and on May 29, 1940, he had been appointed head of the industrial materials section of the Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense (popularly called the National Defense Advisory Commission or N.D.A.C.)
2. William S. Knudsen, the former president of General Motors Corporation, had been the commissioner for industrial production on the N.D.A.C. since May 1940. Concerning Marshall’s testimony on the second supplemental defense appropriation bill, see editorial note #2-238, Papers of George Catlett Marshall [2: 286-87].
3. See “The Materiel Program of June 20, 1940, and Immediate Requirements,” July 8, 1940, NA/RG 165 (OCS, Emergency File).
Recommended Citation: ThePapers 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. 279-280.