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To General Malin Craig
September 5, 1939 [Washington, D.C.]
I received your fine telegram and letter of congratulations, and appreciate them more than you realize. It is a grand thing to start in the execution of a job of this character—and at this time, feeling the warm support and approval of your predecessor. Therefore, I appreciate deeply your generous expressions regarding me.1
As you will realize, things are very busy here, but I am immensely gratified with the efficient, quiet manner in which the Staff has gone about its business. We were well prepared to extend ourselves immediately, so there is no necessity for our rushing here and there and deciding things on the spur of the moment. As a matter of fact, I have a clear desk this morning. But I have a pretty important Staff conference in about thirty minutes.2 Gasser has been splendid; I could not have done a wiser thing than bring him in. He has relieved me of a tremendous load, and as a matter of fact I have walked out of about 75% of the normal business and left it completely to him, without even knowing what was going on in that connection. To turn to less Serious matters, I am sending you a calling card handed me by a Cabinet officer in the Executive Office the other day. He claimed it was his card, but I think maybe it was yours. If you cannot figure it out, radio me for translation.3
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. Craig had written: “I owe you more than I can ever repay for the generous, loyal work you did for me in Vancouver, in War Plans and as Deputy. So old man, I salute you and promise you never to embarrass you. I shall volunteer nothing, but if you wish or need anything, I will give you my best efforts. All I ask of you is for you to take reasonable care of yourself.” (Craig to Marshall, August 31, 1939, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. The most important actions taken at the meeting were to continue with the planned reinforcement of Puerto Rico and to send the Fifth Infantry and the Thirteenth Infantry regiments to Panama as soon as practicable. “All present were notified that the President had authorized the expansion of the Regular Army to National Defense [Act of 1920] strength, i.e., 280,000. G-1 was directed to prepare a letter from the President to the Secretary of War directing this expansion of the Regular Army, and also to prepare a similar letter to the Secretary of War directing this expansion of the Regular Army and the raising of the National Guard to peace strength [i.e., 450,000].” (Orlando Ward notes on a conference in the chief of staff’s office, September 5, 1939, NA/RG 407 [334.8, General Council Report (8-21-41) Bulky].)
3. The editors have been unable to locate or to identify this card.
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. 50-51.