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To the Chairman, Subcommittee on Military Appropriations1
January 7, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mr. Snyder:
The Army Appropriation Acts for a number of years have contained a proviso limiting the cost of passenger automobiles to $1200. Under this limitation it is not possible to procure a car of the limousine type.
Since the declaration of war, secrecy as to military plans and policies has become a matter of imperative importance, and I have found myself in the position of not being able to discuss the matters at hand with the officers accompanying me to the numerous meetings at the White House, with the British Chiefs of Staff, etc. unless I considered the chauffeurs as members of the War Plans Division. This last, of course, is out of the question. Therefore, we have been in the embarrassing situation of being unable to discuss anything pertaining to the meeting we were going to, or regarding the results of the meeting, on the return trip. I, therefore, considered it of importance that a limousine type of car be procured immediately. As this could not legally be done except from the contingent fund placed at the disposal of the Chief of Staff, the purchase of a small type of limousine has just been made from this fund.
I am reporting this action to you and your committee because I have been keenly conscious of the trust reposed in me by the creation of this contingent fund, and I wish you gentlemen to understand the reasons for my action in this particular case.
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. J. Buell Snyder of Pennsylvania was chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Military (i.e., War Department) Appropriations. The same letter was sent to Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma, who occupied the comparable position in the Senate.
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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 48.