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To Major General Ellard A. Walsh
August 17, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
Dear General Walsh:
I have your letter of August eighth protesting the distribution of a pamphlet to Army personnel in China which contains a severe reflection on the National Guard.1
The existence of the pamphlet was unknown to the War Department prior to the receipt of your letter. I quote below a paraphrase of a radio which I dispatched to General Stilwell, after your letter was received. You will hear from me after I have received his reply.2
“President of Adjutant General Association and National Guard Association has written me a strong letter of protest concerning the printing and circulation of a booklet entitled ‘Notes to bear in mind when dealing with the Chinese’. In view of the second paragraph, which in discussing politics in the Chinese Army, states: `This unfortunate circumstance compares with the situation in our National Guard’, the protest is fully justified and this statement is to be regretted.
“Please forward by airmail a copy of the pamphlet together with a full report concerning its production and distribution.”
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. Walsh was adjutant general of Minnesota and president of the Adjutants General Association of the United States and of the National Guard Association of the United States. He had written to say that he had received a copy of the small, thirty-four-page orientation pamphlet and that he considered its second paragraph “to be so libelous and uncalled for where the National Guard is concerned that I am constrained to bring it to your personal attention.” The pamphlet also libeled “the several States and the Governors thereof” as well as the Chinese. The offending paragraph stated: “Chinese Officers, particularly higher commanders (regimental and up) are not too good as a rule. However, there are notable exceptions. Many of the higher commanders hold their positions through political maneuvers, rather than military ability. This unfortunate circumstance compares with the situation in our National Guard.” Walsh concluded: “This matter is so outrageous, transcending as it does all canons and ethics, that I am impelled to bring it not only to your attention but to the attention of the Governors and the Adjutants General of the several States and the Members of the Congress as well. I feel strongly that not only should this pamphlet be suppressed but the perpetrators should be cashiered and dismissed from the service, for manifestly they are unfit to serve in the armed forces.” (Walsh to Marshall, August 8, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected]. A copy of this pamphlet is in NA/RG 407 [Communications Branch, 461].)
2. For further developments in this affair, see Marshall to Walsh, September 26, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-528 [4: 606-7].
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 552.