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To Major General William N. Haskell1
January 30, 1939 [Washington, D.C.]
I am very appreciative of the invitation in your letter of January 26th, from the New York Society of Military and Naval Officers of the World War, to be the guest and principal speaker at the annual dinner on April 18th.
Due to the pressure of business here at this particular period, I have been declining all such invitations, and for that reason I feel that it would be best for me to express my regrets for the annual dinner of your Society.
To be perfectly frank, and most confidentially, I am principally influenced by the desire to avoid publicity, in the light of all this talk about the next Chief of Staff—which is very distasteful to me, and I think equally harmful. And for that reason alone, I hesitate to mix up with this talking business, though under ordinary conditions I would really enjoy the opportunity you extend.
Please treat my rather personal comments as confidential. I am writing frankly because I did not want you to think me unappreciative.2
With warm regards,
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. Haskell (U.S.M.A., 1901) had resigned from the Regular Army in January, 1926, and had been appointed a major general and the commanding general of the New York National Guard.
2. Malin Craig may have encouraged Marshall’s negative reply. At the top of Haskell’s January 26 letter, Marshall wrote: “Gen Craig—What do you think about my doing this—aside from the question of the time consumed? GCM”
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), p. 688.