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To Harry S. Truman
March 25, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Senator Truman:
I received the joint invitation from you and Mr. Wadsworth to Mrs. Marshall and me to serve on the Committee of Invitation for the presentation of “The Forgotten Factor”.1 Since receipt of your letter I have given the matter very careful consideration.
Mrs. Marshall and I have some familiarity with the affair because the prime movers and some of the actors have been guests in our house at Fort Myer and have talked over the various presentations that they have made and that they plan to make, as well as their work in general. I am inclined to the opinion that for me to be sponsoring a presentation having almost solely to do with relations between capital and labor is inadvisable, however worthy or excellent the presentation.2
My mail gives me constant evidence of the resentment of people to my participation by way of endorsement, public statement, or otherwise, in matters not strictly pertaining to the military establishment, and I agree with these people. Nevertheless from time to time I have felt a compelling necessity in connection with the affairs of the Army to have something to say about outside matters, but in each instance it was a matter of great regret to me to take such action. Therefore I question the propriety of my being a sponsor for the presentation of “The Forgotten Factor”.
Mr. Wadsworth has spoken to me regarding this over the telephone and I have had a note from Admiral Byrd urging me to lend my name to the invitation list.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. Senator Truman and congressman James W. Wadsworth, Jr., had invited the Marshalls to serve on the invitation committee for the Washington premiere of a “unique drama of industrial teamwork” presented by members of Moral Rearmament. “Written from experience in the industrial field by workers in Moral Re-Armament, it points an answer to our most serious home-front problem,” wrote Truman and Wadsworth. (Truman and Wadsworth to Marshall, March 21, 1944, GCMRL/ . C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. For Marshall’s previous contact with the Moral Rearmament movement in April 1943 see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-606 [3: 646-47].
3. Marshall sent Wadsworth a copy of his answer to Senator Truman, with the following note: “I am sorry not to do as you urge but I believe I am right.” Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd (U.S.N.A., 1912) had written, “I feel sure that you could not make a mistake in giving a lift to this very splendid cause.” Marshall replied by sending Byrd a copy of his answer to Truman, along with the note: “I am sorry not to go along with you but I believe I am right in not doing so.” (Marshall to Wadsworth, March 25, 1944, Byrd to Marshall, March 23, 1944, and Marshall to Byrd, March 25, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
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. 376-377.