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To William H. Hastie
January 31, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Judge:
On my return from Africa I found your note of January 30th and I want you to know that I appreciate very much that you saw fit to write me as you did. It is a great satisfaction to me to know that you have felt that we have done our best to meet an exceedingly difficult problem.1
I was not aware of your prospective withdrawal from the War Department nor of your reasons, but I hope that your influence will be continued to bring about a better understanding in our successive steps in the solution of this great problem.
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. Hastie had been Secretary Stimson’s aide on race relations since November 1, 1940; on January 18 he announced that he was resigning at the end of the month. On January 30 he sent Marshall a memorandum which said: “While I have avoided imposing upon you personally the detail of various specific problems with which this office has been concerned, I have been aware at all times of your concern that the Negro be equitably treated in the armed services. Although I have come to the conclusion that the greater good is to be accomplished by my withdrawal from the War Department at this time, I am keenly aware that your good will has been an all important factor in those things which this office has been able to accomplish during the past two years.” (Hastie Memorandum to General George C. Marshall, January 30, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].) Hastie issued a statement on January 31 which accused the Army Air Forces of “reactionary policies and discriminatory practices” against black people. (New York Times, February I, 1943, p. 7.)
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. 522.