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To Major Charles S. Roller, Jr.
January 15, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
I have just read your letter of January 11th, regarding the incident concerned with my broadcast of January 7th.
I appreciate very much your flattering reactions, but I must tell you with complete sincerity that there are two phases to your comments or suggestions that would be fatal to my future. In the first place, putting such an idea into a man’s head is the first step toward destroying his usefulness, and in the second place the public suggestion of such an idea, even by mere rumor or gossip, would be almost fatal to my interests.
So long as the various servants of the Government in important positions concerned with national defense devote all their time and all their thought to the straight business of the job, all will go well with America, but just as soon as an ulterior purpose or motive creeps in, then the trouble starts and will gather momentum like a snowball. So, while I appreciate very much the compliment of your letter, I ask you not to even tell your wife what you thought.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
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. 388.