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To Major General Daniel Van Voorhis
July 3, 1940 Washington, D.C.
Dear Van Voorhis:
A cable was sent you yesterday, I believe, with information regarding Naval adjustments to meet some of the comments in your letter of June 24th to me.
As to the other points concerned, regarding inter-relationships, there is not at this time anything I can do from this end of the line. I realize how embarrassing it is to you to be the junior of the three,1 and I hope within the next few days to see you a Lieutenant General. Stone’s amendment has blocked us for this long period of time. I have been endeavoring recently, and particularly the last few days, to break the jam and get the legislation through. It is not easy to put these things over even when practically no money is involved.2
I think your staff let you in for complications by not leading up to the meetings with a personal touch. However, your ability to get along with people will surmount the difficulties, but it is too bad that such important matters have to be approached in this manner. I hope we can do better by the situation a little later. I am going into the entire matter with Admiral Stark.
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. Rear Admiral Frank H. Sadler (U.S.N.A., 1903), commandant of the Fifteenth Naval District, had his headquarters in Balboa, Canal Zone, and he reported to the chief of naval operations. The other naval officer involved was Rear Admiral John W. Wilcox, Jr. (U.S.N.A., 1905), commander of the Special Service Squadron, also based in the Canal Zone, who reported to the commander in chief of the United States Fleet.
2. The bill to raise to lieutenant general rank the commanders of the Hawaiian and Panama Canal departments was introduced into both houses of Congress on January 25, 1940. The Senate bill (S. 3200) passed on February 1, but the House bill (H.R. 7611) was delayed by an amendment which would have made a lieutenant general of any one who had commanded either department since August 5, 1939. This amendment applied only to Major General David L. Stone. Lieutenant generals and vice admirals received an additional $500 each in salary per year. The Senate bill was accepted by the House on July 25; it was signed by President Roosevelt on July 31.
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. 258.