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To Neal Dow Becker
April 4, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mr. Becker,
Thank you for your letter of April third.
I am afraid I confused you by my postscript regarding the character of the party this year.1
What I had in mind was the possibility that other guests than publishers might be included. I feel I know what liberties I can take in talking to newspaper men but I have grave doubts when guests outside that circle are included. Along with this comment goes my reply to your very generous offer to invite any guests that I might care to have present. There are none.
With reference to your question regarding an aide, I did not have in mind taking anyone with me but on second thought I believe it would be a good idea for General Surles, the head of our Public Relations Branch in the War Department, to go up with me.2
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. On April 1 General Marshall had accepted the invitation of Becker, president of Intertype Corporation (manufacturers of typesetting machinery), to speak off-the-record to an audience of about 250 during the American Newspaper Publishers Association convention in New York City at the Waldorf-Astoria on April 25. Marshall had added a postscript by hand: “I assume that the attendance will be the same as several years ago. If otherwise you must expect pro forma remarks by me.” Becker had replied on April 3 that “the character of the party will be the same” as when Marshall spoke to the association in April 1940; the guests were carefully selected and he insisted that “the rule that everything is strictly off the record has never been violated at one of these dinners.” Becker assured Marshall that no reporters would be present. (Marshall to Becker, April 1, 1944, and Becker to Marshall, April 3, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].)
2. An account of the event noted that General Marshall, speaking without notes, “described the international situation vividly and gave the publishers much background from which their understanding of events could be enhanced. He made a profound impression of ability, vigor and deadly earnestness.” (Who’s Who in the Composing Room, July 1944, pp. 8-10, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Secretary of State, Correspondence].)
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. 386.