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To Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower
December 30, 1942 Radio No. 594 Washington, D.C.
From Marshall for Eisenhower.
Secretary Morgenthau has expressed a desire to visit North Africa about the middle of January. He feels that he can be helpful in settling some of the financial problems particularly with reference to rates of exchange.
My inclination is to save you from such visits and I shall tell Mr. Morgenthau that this is not an appropriate time for him to go to North Africa unless you feel he could be helpful or would not burden you.
I want you to clear your skirts of all that interferes with you[r] complete concentration on the fighting and let subordinates or us in rear carry these other burdens.1
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Executive File 10, Item 36a, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. The issue of the rate of exchange among the United States and British occupation currencies and the French franc in Africa had numerous political and economic implications beyond the surface question of whether the U.S. Treasury Department’s proposed rate of seventy-five francs to the dollar or the British proposed forty-three would be adopted. Morgenthau fell ill on New Years’ Day and was forced to remain in bed for most of January 1943. President Roosevelt arranged a compromise exchange rate of fifty in early February. (John Morton Blum, From the Morgenthau Diaries, volume 3, Years of War, 1941-1945 [Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1967], pp. 146-47, 152-55.)
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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 497.