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To James W. Wadsworth
December 6, 1939 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Senator:1
I have just received in the mail a reprint of your remarks of November 2d on the Neutrality Bill, for which I thank you.2 As a matter of fact, I had in my mind a number of times the intention to write you a letter regarding what you said, how you said it, and the remarkable impression you made at the time; but I have been traveling so rapidly and away so much that I am becoming quite unreliable as to remembering what I want to do personally—officially the office keeps me straight, but personally I am failing myself at every turn.
As you know, I have long been a very honest and frank admirer of yours; I believe I have told you that I thought you understood more about the Army than most of the officers in the Army. Now, to see you reap at least a small morsel of the reward that should come to you for wisdom or judgment, or whatever you term good common sense in public affairs, and particularly for the unique reputation you enjoy among all public men and well informed citizens as to your standard of integrity, is very satisfying to me.
I am off this morning by air for an inspection trip of the Southeast, and hope to include two days’ shooting with Dwight Davis at his plantation near Tallahassee, Florida.3
With warm regards,
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. Marshall had first met Wadsworth during the 1919 hearings on army reorganization. Wadsworth served as a Republican senator from New York between 1915 and 1927; since 1933 he had represented New York’s Thirty-ninth District in the House of Representatives.
2. In a well-received speech on the floor of the House, Wadsworth spoke in favor of the proposed revisions to the Neutrality Act, saying in part: “I believe the Senate in its cash-and-carry provision at least approaches this difficult problem realistically and that if legislation can keep us out of war, this particular provision will do more in this direction than any other provision that can be drafted.” (Congressional Record, 76th Cong., 2d sess., 85, pt. 2: 1310-12.)
3. Dwight F. Davis had been secretary of war from 1925 to 1929 and governor-general of the Philippines from 1929 to 1932. On Marshall’s association with him, see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-275 [1: 343-44].
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. 114-115.