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To J. Edgar Hoover
July 22,1940 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mr. Hoover:
With reference to your memorandum of June 5, 1940, to the Attorney General,1 to the effect that “the War Department does not desire to incur any expense of responsibility in connection with the apprehension of deserters”, I would like to make it clear that it is not a question of a desire on the part of the War Department not to incur any expense or responsibility in the matter, but that the War Department lacks the necessary funds. Prior to 1932 funds in excess of $100,000 were appropriated annually for the purpose of rewards for the apprehension of deserters, etc., but since that date it has not been possible to pay a reward or to reimburse the apprehender for the actual expenses involved.
The War Department does desire to have deserters apprehended and will exercise such responsibility as it is financially able to manage.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Marshall had written this letter for the adjutant general’s signature. As director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hoover had asked the adjutant general whether the army was interested in the return of deserters whose whereabouts come to the attention of this Bureau during the course of its usual investigations. “The adjutant general replied by indorsement that the army did desire to apprehend deserters, but that it had no funds to pay any costs incurred.” (Hoover to Adams, April 8, 1940, NA/RG 407 [General, 251.21].) On June 5 Hoover sent Attorney General Robert H. Jackson the memorandum from which Marshall quotes.
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), p. 275.