2-116 To General Pedro Góes Monteiro, January 29, 1940

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: January 29, 1940

To General Pedro Góes Monteiro

January 29, 1940   [Washington, D.C.]

My dear General Góes:

It distressed me greatly to learn of the loss of your brother, Durval.  Although it was not my good fortune to know him personally, I know what a misfortune his passing has been to you.  Yet, it is certain that you are facing this trouble with the same courage that you have displayed so many times in the past.  Confirming my radiogram of January 26th, I send you my most sincere condolence.

Your letter of December 27, 1939, was most welcome and I thank you for the expressions of friendship contained therein.  Since its receipt, I have been absent from Washington for about ten days, returning here about a week ago.  General Arnold and I flew to California to witness the Joint Army and Navy Maneuvers there.  We made the flight from Washington to Sacramento, California, in one day.  On the return trip, we stopped to inspect training activities at various places.  Saw several of your friends, including General Fickel at March Field, General Joyce at El Paso, Generals Brees, Krueger and Collins at San Antonio, General Martin at Barksdale Field, and General Short at Fort Benning.  All spoke enthusiastically of your visit last summer.  General Fickel is coming to Washington for duty as Assistant Chief of the Air Corps.  General Short will Command the “Blue” Army Corps during the maneuvers in the South next spring, and General Krueger will command the “Red” opposing forces.1

On my return to Washington, I was pleased to learn that His Excellency, President Vargas, has approved the acquisition by the Brazilian Army of the 90 six-inch guns.  This armament, although not of recent manufacture, has many good characteristics and is capable of filling an important role in the defense of your many harbors.

You will be interested to know that the Ordnance and Electrical Engineers, whom you sent to the United States, are now engaged on a schedule of visits to various arsenals and factories.  The Electrical Engineers are including in this itinerary:  General Electric factories at Schenectady, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Boston, the Sperry Co. plant at Brooklyn, West Point, the Army Signal School, Bethlehem Steel Co. plant at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the Westinghouse and Carnegie Steel factories in Pittsburgh.  The Electrical [Ordnance?] Engineers, in addition to visiting Boston, are spending a week at each of the following places:  Army arsenals at Philadelphia, Picatinny, Watertown, Springfield, Watervliet, and the Bethlehem and Carnegie Steel companies.  These visits will terminate about the middle of March, after which we shall plan an additional program which I trust will be profitable to these officers.

It is a pleasure for me to inform you that the United States Senate has recently approved the Joint Resolution which will permit the acquisition of armament by South American countries from our government arsenals.  The Senate inserted an amendment providing that such acquisition shall not be permitted to interfere with the execution of the armament program on which the United States is now engaged.  The Resolution has been returned to the House of Representatives for their action on the amendment, and I feel sure that the measure will soon become law.  Unfortunately, our army arsenals will not be able to render assistance to you for the next year or two, on account of the flood of government orders confronting them.  However, the passage of the resolution will enable us to eventually give material cooperation to our good friend, the Brazilian Army.2

With reference to the United States mission to Rio, I am still planning to send Miller there as Chief of the Mission, after he completes his course at the War College in June.  Confidentially, I plan to return the present members of the Mission to the United States at the expiration of their two years of service, with the possible exception of Major Elliott.3  My earnest desire is to give you the best qualified officers that we can select, so that the Mission will be of maximum benefit to your army.  If you have any suggestions or desires in this matter, please communicate them to me.

Believe me, my dear General Góes, your sincere friend and admirer.  I take pleasure in sending my respectful compliments to Mrs. Monteiro and your daughter, and an “abraco” to you.  With best wishes for your health, I remain

Faithfully yours,


Document Copy Text Source:  Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), War Plans Division, 4224, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland

Document Format:  Typed letter.

1. Brigadier General Jacob E. Fickel served as wing commander, March Field, Riverside, California.  Brigadier General James L. Collins commanded the artillery section of the Second Division at Fort Sam Houston.  Brigadier General Frederick L. Martin commanded the Air Corps wing at Barksdale Field, Shreveport, Louisiana.  The maneuvers that Marshall referred to were the Third Army exercises in the Sabine River region of Louisiana and Texas.

2. House Joint Resolution 367 (adopted on June 15, 1940) authorized the manufacture, procurement, and sale of coastal defense and antiaircraft materiel to Latin American governments.  The Judge Advocate General’s Department had previously interpreted this language as excluding all other munitions. (For the 1939 efforts to permit certain arms sales to Latin America, see editorial note #2-019, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, [2:  23–24].)  The questions of the proper policy with regard to selling obsolete or surplus small arms and of the policy regarding new and modern arms continued to plague the Roosevelt administration and the War Department for months.  Marshall was not prepared to part with any of his modern equipment for a long time to come. (Stetson Conn and Byron Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington:  GPO, 1960], pp. 209–11.)

3. Lowell A. Elliott, of the Chemical Warfare Service, continued with the military mission in Brazil through 1941.

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. 150–152.

Digital Downloads




Holding Rights: Public Information
Holding ID: 2-116

Rights: Public Information