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To Mrs. Lowell F. Hobart
January 23, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mrs. Hobart:
I returned from the West Coast this morning to find your letter of January 20th, inviting me to appear before the Women’s Patriotic Conference on National Defense at The Mayflower on February 1st, or to designate someone to represent me.1
My engagements at the present time make it impossible for me to accept on the basis of a formal talk. If you will permit me to talk informally for a few minutes, off the record as it were, I will undertake to enter into this engagement. My embarrassment is that I have no time at all in the rush of the moment, to make formal preparation for such a talk, and at this time practically anything I say is apt to be given wide publicity. Now, if it is possible without creating undue interest because of arrangement for my appearance without press report, I would be glad to make a few comments. I do not believe this can be managed except by the two of us having an agreement as to the approximate time that might be convenient, and my appearing without any previous notice or warning. I am afraid if you advertised the fact that I am to talk off the record, it will, as far as I am concerned, make matters worse. But, if you could allow me to appear at a moment when it would be a simple matter to give me ten minutes on the program, I would be very glad to do so.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Mrs. Hobart, president of the National society of New England women, served as chairman of the fifteenth annual Women’s Patriotic Conference at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. She told Marshall that “the members of these participating organizations are very much in earnest over the proper protection of our Country. We are anxious to receive the latest needs of the Armed Forces. Which bills we will want to approve or disapprove that are coming before this Congress. (Hobart to Marshall, January 20, 1940, GCMRL/G.C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].) Marshall spoke to the conference on the morning of February 1; no record of his remarks was preserved in the Marshall papers.
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), pp. 143-144.