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To Major General Joseph T. McNarney
April 13, 1942 Radio No. 2387 London, England
Returned Monday morning from weekend at Chequers which included conversations with British Chiefs of Staff, Lord Mountbatten, General Paget, Oliver Lyttelton, A. V. Alexander, Lord Leathers, Lord Cherwell and others1 It appears that our proposal will be accepted in principle but relative to avoidance of further dispersions particularly of planes such acceptance will have to be considerably and continuously bolstered by firmness of our stand. I am endeavoring to secure clear commitments as to means to be made available for the preparations and building up from now on of the forces and material necessary to carry out our purpose.2 Virtually everyone agrees with us in principle but many if not most hold reservations regarding this or that. Hopkins and I will be present at full cabinet meeting tonight and with defensive committee of the cabinet tomorrow night. I dine with CIGS [Chief of the Imperial General Staff] and leading army officials tonight, attend Chief of Staff meeting tomorrow morning, lunch with King and Queen informally Wednesday and I understand that Prime Minister is arranging dinner for us with the King and the Chiefs of Staff. I leave London Wednesday night by rail with Prime Minister for Salisbury Plain to spend day there witnessing various demonstrations and troop organizations probably will proceed to Portsmouth that night with PM spending Thursday morning in the general vicinity. I hope thereafter to get under way to North Ireland for review of troops and to leave for home probably from vicinity of Prestwick. What is the degree of urgency for my return to Washington? I assume that you are keeping Secretary of War informed my cables. I have hesitated to predict outcome of negotiations and Hopkins has been communicating with President direct on the subject.
From Marshall to McNarney. Part two. Have received following message: “United Office Professional Workers CIO Philadelphia. Pledge fullest support immediate opening second European front.” Second message from Social Service Employees Union Company Philadelphia: “Pledge every effort behind opening Western front now.” Please have suitable acknowledgment prepared in War Department and dispatched.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Executive File 1, Item 5c, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. General Sir Bernard Paget was commander in chief of the Home Forces; Oliver Lyttelton was minister of production; Albert V. Alexander had been first lord of the admiralty since 1940; Lord Leathers (Frederick Leathers) had been minister of war transport since 1941; and Lord Cherwell (Frederick A. Lindemann), a specialist on experimental aircraft design, was a personal assistant to Churchill.
2. As United States and British staffs discussed invasion logistics on April 12 and 13, Arnold radioed the latest airplane allocation figures for May and June 1942. Although prepared to discuss strategic questions, the Americans lacked the details to answer specific questions about future objectives and resource allocation. To prepare for his April 14 War Cabinet meeting, Marshall found it necessary to request more information from Arnold. (Marshall to McNarney, Radio Nos. 2390 and 2392, April 13 and 14, 1942, NA/ RG 165 [OPD, Exec. 1, Item 5c].)
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), pp. 160-161.