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To Mrs. Sophie Hughes
October 16, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mrs. Hughes:
Katherine showed me your letter about the work in occupational therapy which you would like to get through the Surgeon General’s Office. I have had to make a very hard and fast rule not to use my position to help friends secure jobs for I would quickly find myself in an impossible position. Therefore, while I cannot ask for any special consideration of your application, I have informed the Surgeon General of your efficiency, experience, etc., and am sure that it will be given thorough consideration.1
I should think that with your executive ability you would be more interested in work in one of the war plants, where your opportunities would be so much broader. Such a tremendous field is opening up for women in production war work these days. General Arnold tells me the plants are rapidly going over in a big way to women workers, who seem to catch on much more quickly than the men. With your business experience and presence I should think you would quickly find yourself in an executive position. Incidentally, the pay is much higher than in almost any other possible job.2
With warm regards,
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. Hughes was an acquaintance from Portland, Oregon. She had written to Mrs. Marshall on October 12 that she “would like to serve in some constructive field in this emergency,” and a friend with experience in occupational therapy had suggested that she apply to the Surgeon General of the Army for a job in the field. Marshall sent a copy of her letter to the Office of the Surgeon General with the note: “I do not wish any special consideration given to Mrs. Hughes application nor do I wish to influence in any way the decision of your office in the matter. For your information—Mrs. Hughes is an intelligent and efficient woman of the executive type, who has had a business career involving control of the west coast region for a dress knitting affair, hand and machine. Incidentally, she is the daughter of the late Senator ‘Pitchfork’ Tillman of South Carolina.” (Hughes to Katherine T. Marshall, [October 12, 1942], and Marshall Memorandum for the Surgeon General, October 16, 1942, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].)
2. Mrs. Hughes was advised that no civilian occupational therapy positions were open. (F. W. Jones to Hughes, October 28, 1942, ibid.) She wrote to thank Marshall for his letter and to say that she was going to seek a war work job in Southern California. (Hughes to Marshall, October 30, 1942, ibid.)
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), p. 404.