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To General Dwight D. Eisenhower
July 23, 1944 Radio No. WAR-69604 Washington, D.C.
Personal for General Eisenhower from Marshall.
Congresswoman Frances P. Bolton, Republican of Ohio, is arriving in England by British air transportation on or about July 23. She travels in an unofficial and personal capacity in view of firm War Department policy concerning the travel of members of Congress to active theaters.1 The purpose of Mrs. Bolton’s trip is to inspect hospital facilities and make some report which will probably reach the women of America to reassure them as to the treatment of their wounded, Personally, I feel that this is a worthwhile project considered from that standpoint. Please provide her with every feasible opportunity to see as much as possible concerning the care and handling of the wounded that may be consistent with your military situation. The question of whether or not she is permitted to go to France is of course left entirely to your discretion. The State Department advises informally that, in the absence of information here, it is radioing Ambassador [John G.] Winant to ascertain expected time of arrival in England.2
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Top Secret Message File CM-OUT-69604, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. For previous discussion of the congresswoman’s trip, see Marshall Memorandum for General Persons, April 28, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-376 [4: 440-41]. On July 24 Marshall proposed that the War Department release the following announcement: “Mrs. Bolton traveled to England as a guest of the British Government, by British air transportation, in an informal and personal capacity. In keeping with her long interest and activity concerning hospital facilities, she intends to devote her time to the inspection of such facilities in the United Kingdom. In keeping with War Department policy covering travel of members of Congress to active theaters, she was not furnished Army transportation.” (Marshall Memorandum for General Reber, July 24, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
Members of Congress increasingly evaded Roosevelt administration and War Department efforts to restrict their overseas travel by securing passports from the State Department and buying their transportation from the British. The War Department could not ask the British to cease furnishing transportation, General Staff secretary Frank McCarthy noted, “for this would put us in the position of asking the British to discriminate against our own Congressmen.” (McCarthy Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, September 23, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OCS, SGS, Memos to Chief of Staff].)
2. Bolton, who had two sons in the military, visited hospitals in Great Britain until late August, when she went to France. She returned to Washington on September 28. (New York Times, August 28 [p. 24], September 7 [p. 6], and September 29 [p. 24], 1944.)
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. 532-533.