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Marshall Testimony of March 17, 1948
UNIVERSAL MILITARY TRAINING
COMMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
UNITED STATES SENATE
UNIVERSAL MILITARY TRAINING
MARCH 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31,
APRIL 1, 2, AND 3, 1948
Printed for the use of the Committee on Armed Services
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1948
UNITED STATES SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,
Washington, D. C.
The committee met at 2:30 p.m., pursuant to call, in room 318 of the Senate Office
Building, Senator Chan Gurney (chairman of the committee) presiding.
Present: Senators Gurney, Bridges, Robertson of Wyoming, Wilson, Saltonstall, Morse,
Baldwin, Russell, Byrd, Hill, Kilgore, and May-bank.
Also present: Senators Lodge, Thye, Williams, and McCarron.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
This is a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced for some time. In
opening these hearings this afternoon, I wish it to be understood definitely that these hearings are
in no way limited to the question of whether or not we should incorporate, as part of the law of
the land, legislation authorizing universal military training and/or reinstate a selective-service
Our committee wants, and intends to seek from the witnesses, a total estimate not only of
world conditions, but of our military position generally, and all recommendations from the heads
of our Military Establishment, as to what is necessary and mandatory to protect the best interests
of the United States of America.
I may take about 3 or 4 minutes to set forth what I believe is the committee’s and my
position, and, therefore, we will delay Secretary Marshall for those few minutes. Should it
develop that some form of universal military training is to be recommended, the committee will,
of course, go into that phase of the problem in great detail, but the committee does want it set
forth at the start of the hearings that we expect from the members of the Military Establishment,
and those others responsible in Government, a full estimate of the world situation as it is today,
and their recommendations as to what Congress should do about it, with full justification for the
It is the function of this committee, acting in concert with the House Armed Services
Committee, to initiate and guide through the Congress that legislation which, in our judgment, is
necessary to safeguard the security of the Nation. This responsibility is not borne lightly by any
member of this committee.
Personally, I wish to state that in any consideration of our over-all security system, and
legislation pertaining thereto, cognizance must first be taken of the state of world affairs. In a
climate of international calm and tranquillity, one type of security measures is sug-[p.1/2]gested;
in a period of international tension and uncertainty, totally different security methods are
A few moments ago the head of the executive branch of the Government sketched for the
Congress and the people of this country the broad outlines of the European picture today. It is not
a pleasant picture; there is little in it to inspire optimism. There is much in it to inspire action, in
the interest of our own security.
We meet today, then, against a back drop of world-wide fear of aggression, a fear which
is engendered by the aggressive acts of the Soviet Union. These aggressive acts are well known
to all of us. It would serve no purpose to recite the long list of countries, which, since VE-day,
have been driven behind the iron curtain. Neither is it necessary to name other countries which
are on the “prospect list” of this international purveyor of tyranny.
It is perfectly clear that a definite threat to our own security exists in the world today; it is
clear that the clouds of war are starting to gather. We all fervently hope those clouds can be
dispersed. But while we are hoping that the storm will not overtake us, common prudence
dictates that we also “batten down the hatches” of our defense system.
In considering ways and means of reinforcing our defense system, we must realize that
with the hurtling to the ground of the world’s first atomic bomb at Hiroshima, and the
development of faster-than-sound airplanes, the world crossed the threshold of a new epoch in
warfare. For the first time a weapon has been created that is capable of destroying whole centers
of population. Additionally, we now know that the oceans have evaporated in the wake of
supersonic aircraft and that the world’s land masses have been pushed together like pieces of a
gigantic jigsaw puzzle.
What influence should these terrifying advances in the science of warfare have on our
plans for the defense of America? What steps should we take to relate our defense system to
There is honest difference of opinion among our citizens on the answers to these
questions. Opinion runs the gamut from those who believe that manpower has become a
negligible factor in the defense of the country to those who feel that the introduction of high-
speed planes and atomic bombs makes it necessary that we maintain at all times a large and well-
trained standing Army, Navy, and Air Force, poised to counter any atomic attack. All shades of
opinion are found between these two widely divergent points of view.
Taking into account this variety of opinion, then, the question which we must resolve is
threefold: (1) Is it necessary to the security of the Nation that we develop a trained reserve of
manpower for potential military duty; (2) if so, how large a group should we train, and to what
state of readiness should it be developed; and (3) what system should be used to obtain and train
the number of men needed?
The President has just told us that we need universal military training and also the
temporary reenactment of selective-service legislation. He states that there is no conflict between
the requirements of selective service for the Regular forces and universal training for the Reserve
components because selective service is necessary as an interim measure until the foundation of
universal military training is established.
Universal military training has been considered by the Congress on several previous
occasions. Since 1945 three hearings have been [p.2/3] held by committees of the House of
Representatives. In 1945 the Committee on Military Affairs and the Select Committee on
Postwar Military Policy held extensive hearings, and last year the House Armed Services
Committee considered this subject and favorably reported H. R. 4278 to the House of
I know that I speak for our committee when I say that we expect the hearings
commencing today to be enlightening and useful in our consideration of this problem. We
earnestly hope that the hearings and our subsequent deliberations will result in action which will
contribute in a substantial way to the security of our country.
I think I would be lacking in candor and honesty if I did not acknowledge at this time that
I have frequently stated any own personal belief that some form of universal training is desirable
and necessary. Some other members of the committee have shared my view and have stated their
feelings publicly. Still others have voiced disapproval of universal training.
I assure you, for myself and for the other members of the committee, that these are
personal views and that they will not influence in any way the committee’s desire to conduct
these hearings in a fair, impartial, and unprejudiced manner, and in the spirit of an honest search
for the best methods of protecting our country.
Personally, I wish to state my complete agreement with Secretary Marshall’s recent
utterance that Americans must not let their passions get the best of them. That is the spirit in
which the committee today opens these hearings on the national security problem. We intend, in
these hearings, to inform ourselves as completely and as quickly as is possible and then with
calmness, evaluate the problem, deliberate carefully on the proposals offered, and come forth
with legislation found to be necessary now for our best protection, in the form of a committee
It is the committee’s hope that we will receive convincing evidence that we have
unification in fact in the armed forces; yes, a complete restatement of the roles and missions of
each branch of the service, fully agreed upon. Then should further defense expenditures be found
necessary, we will know that a conscientious effort has been made to do away with all internal
strife in the Military Establishment an that there will be, before the Appropriations Committee of
both Houses, not a request for the amount of money wanted by the Army, Navy, and Air Force
individually, but a request for an amount which is vitally necessary for a unified, over-all,
strategic .plan for the defense of the United States. This committee insists that our citizens
receive full value for each defense dollar spent..
We are pleased to have as our first witness today our Secretary of State, George C.
Marshall, who served us as our great, illustrious, wartime Chief of Staff.
Mr. Secretary, are you ready? You may proceed in your own way.
STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE C. MARSHALL,
SECRETARY OF STATE
Secretary MARSHALL. Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee: You gentlemen
have asked me to give my views on the need of our country taking at this time further measures
to assure the national security. Any such measures must obviously relate to the foreign policy of
the United States. In the world in which we live our national [p.3/4] security can no longer be
effectively weighed and dealt within terms of the Western Hemisphere alone.
The President has spoken to the Congress this morning in joint session. You have before
you, I presume, the text of his address. It is not necessary for me to repeat what he said.
I wish to express in person to you my own concern over the accelerated trend in Europe.
In the short years since the end of hostilities this trend has grown from a trickle into a torrent.
One by one, the Balkan States, except Greece, lost all semblance of national independence. Then
two friendly nations, first Hungary and last week Czechoslovakia, have been forced into
complete submission to the Communist control.
Within 1 month the people of Italy, whose Govermnent we had a large part in
reconstituting, will hold a national election. The outcome of that election has an importance far
beyond local Italian affairs. It will decide not only whether Italy will continue with its restoration
into a true democracy. It will foretell whether the disintegrating trend to which I have referred
may reach the shores of the Atlantic.
It is said that history never repeats itself. Yet if these free people one by one are
subjugated to police state control even the blind may see in that subjugation of liberty a deadly
The Government of the United States has undertaken steps to meet this disintegrating
trend in the heart of Europe. The comprehensive proposal in this regard is the recovery program
legislation now under active consideration in the House. This program, I believe is a fundamental
requirement for the strengthening of the western nations of Europe.
But this economic program in the existing situation is not a complete answer. It is said
that one cannot buy peace and prosperity with dollars. The accelerating march of events in
European areas has now made it clear that reliance for the future safety of those areas cannot be
placed alone on the slow processes of reconstruction financed with our help. There is something
more for the United States to do. We must show, conclusively, by decisive legislative action to
all the nations of the world that the United States intends to be strong and to hold that strength
ready to keep the European world both at peace and free.
Diplomatic action, without the backing of military strength in the present world can lead
only to appeasement. The President today indicated that we have made every effort of
negotiation; and of organization in the United Nations, to find a way to understandings and
agreement. I said in my final report as Chief of Staff in 1945, “War is not the choice of those
who wish passionately for peace; it is the choice of those who are willing to resort to violence for
I regard the present military policy of this Government as one based largely on meeting
the problems of attrition, with the contrasting necessity for larger and larger appropriations to
give us security.
Perhaps my meaning could be made clearer by a comparison of the German procedure
under Hitler with that proposed under a policy of universal military training. The Nazis devoted
all the resources of Germany in preparation for war on a given date, September 1, 1939. The
purpose and procedure under universal military training is exactly the opposite. We would be
striving to avoid such dates. We want peace, we want to avoid war. Therefore, among other
things, we want [p.4/5] a system which will be bearable financially, which will not bankrupt the
country, a system which, adjusted to world conditions, can he continued at a minimum of cost
and personal contribution, a system in accordance with our traditions and strong desires.
I see no possible way financially to maintain a reasonable military posture except on the
foundation of universal military training. The consideration of this subject has been confused by
discussions of amounts, requirements, administration, and various conflicting beliefs. The clear-
cut issue is whether or not this country will stand before the world for at least the next 5 or 10
years in a position appropriate to its leadership in furthering the perpetuation of free
governments, and avoiding their transition into police states.
We desire a state of affairs which would make repetitions of the fate of Hungary and
Czechoslovakia, the intimidation of Finland, the subversive operations in Italy and France, and
the cold-blooded efforts to destroy the Greek Government unlikely, because they would
definitely be fraught with real danger to those who would attempt such action.
Many of the measures complementary to universal military training would be
strengthened and facilitated by the latter. The maintenance of the Army, the Navy, and the Air
Force at suitable strength on a volunteer basis would be made easier, I am sure. But what is much
more important, the National Guard would be greatly strengthened and made a vital citizen force
immediately available in an emergency, which it cannot be under existing conditions. The
quality of the ROTC would be much improved, the training put on a higher level; and the time
for such training materially shortened.
Finally, universal military training would bring to millions of American families a sense
of individual and collective responsibility of the duty to help assure security and peace for
ourselves and for the world. There is evidence that the majority of American men and women are
ready to follow courageous leadership toward that end.
Due to the rapid dwindling in the strength of the armed forces, the temporary application
of selective service is necessary. A reconsideration of our air program is also necessary, but first
of all, I am convinced that the decision of the American people to adopt the democratic
procedure of universal training would strengthen every free government. The combination of two
things, the enactment of the European recovery program on the one hand and a decision by the
American people that clearly indicates that they are determined in their course, are necessary
now, I think, to the maintenance of peace in the world.
Referring to a discussion of universal military training in my final report as Chief of Staff
in September 1945, I closed with these words :
We can fortify ourselves against disaster, I am convinced, by the measures I have here outlined. In these
protections we can face the future with a reasonable hope for the best and with quiet assurance that even though the
worst may come, we are prepared for it.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Have you anything to add to your prepared
Secretary MARSHALL. I think it might be helpful to an understanding of my views in
the matter if I took the liberty of reading to you at this time my statement before the Compton
The CHAIRMAN. What time was that statement made, what year? [p.5/6]
Secretary MARSHALL. The report was made on May 29, 1947, and my statement to
them was approximately on that date.
Our adoption of universal military training would be a reassurance to the peace-loving nations of the world.
I have been a strong advocate of universal military training in the past and made it the principal subject of my final
report as Chief of Staff in September of 1945. My view is also expressed in hearings before Congress. I have in no
way altered my view of the matter. It appears to me today even more important than previously that the United
States complement its accepted leadership in the world economically and as an advocate of the development of the
United Nations to the peaceful negotiation of world difficulties by the development of a military policy and posture
appropriate to our responsibilities and within our continued financial capability. I regard the system on which our
military forces are presently based as inadequate and ruinously expensive and yet, without universal military
training, no other practical solution has been put forward.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, I believe the committee would like to ask quite a few
questions, and after listening to your statement just now I want to observe that you would not be
here asking for additional reinforcement to our military if you did not feel that there were further
threats of expansion that are directly opposite to our desires, is that correct?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, I think. I might enlarge on my reply by calling
attention to the fact that I made a number of statements in August and September of 1945 in the
general tenor of the quotation that I just read. Then I made that statement before the Compton
Commission in May of 1947. We have now reached March of 1948. I am far more convinced
now than I was then of the importance of the measures recommended.
It is difficult for me to speak as Secretary of State, realizing that the thought in many
minds would be that I am presenting my views more as a former Chief of Staff of the Army.
However, I consulted with the State Department at that time and I became fairly familiar with
world conditions in my years as Chief of Staff. Now I am most intimately concerned with the
state of our armed forces because you cannot be successful in the present unsettled conditions of
the world and particularly with the opposition that we are encountering in all of our efforts
toward peaceful negotiations, unless you have behind you the strength to dignify your position.
The CHAIRMAN. You want the military voice as strong as the voice of the State
Department is that right?
Secretary MARSHALL. I want the military posture as strong as the action of the State
Senator BRIDGES. Mr. Secretary, I followed your testimony fairly carefully, and I would
gather that there were approximately three major points in it. One is that you favored universal
military training because you felt that it would have a great psychological effect upon the world
as a whole at the present time.
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir.
Senator BRIDGES. And secondly, that because you felt that we had to more adequately
arm America; and the third was an economic reason, that you felt that our Nation would be better
able to effectively arm at a reasonable price without jeopardizing the solvency of our country, the
driving of us into eventual bankruptcy by the maintenance of a strong, large permanent standing
army, a large, permanent standing air force, and a large navy. I felt that those were your three
On the first, I have no question nor do I think anyone who has any American blood in his
veins could question. It is a fact first that it would have a psychological effect, and second that
we do need to make this country strong. The third question, however, I wonder if you would
amplify a little more as to whether or not in your judgment universal military training would be
economically and financially to the advantage of the country compared to the maintenance of a
large standing army, air force, and navy. How would it fit into that picture?
Secretary MARSHALL. I will endeavor to answer your question, Senator Bridges, by
first quoting a sentence out of the statement that I made before the House special committee in
June of 1945. Summarizing, I said that I know of no system that will meet the requirements I
have just outlined, other than universal military training together with an effective program for
industrial mobilization and continuous scientific research.
My feeling throughout has been that we must find some method of maintaining a
sufficient military posture, one sufficiently strong without the terrific expense of a large standing
Military Establishment, that is, some means whereby we adopt a system that would not impose
on us the necessity for maintaining this large permanent force. Otherwise, we would end up by
not having anything because of inability to meet the fiscal requirements through the normal
process of taxation.
I have said very frankly that I think in our present situation we have only a hollow shell.
Expressing it a little technically, we are over-deployed. Most of our strength is on the perimeter,
and that is no place for the strength except at the twelfth hour, and even then you have to have
something behind you. I have felt that it was absolutely necessary to find a system that did not
involve what I thought was national bankruptcy if you continued it, and universal military
training was the only method that I could see that met that requirement. Nothing else was
proposed that came to my eye that offered any solution except on the basis of a large standing
force, which I am convinced we cannot possibly afford to maintain year after year.
At the present moment we have a special situation. If for example, in the fall of 1945
action along this line had been taken, our position today would be utterly different. I am sorry
now that I am talking more as a former Chief of Staff than as Secretary of State, which is not
very helpful to my position. But under UMT we would have available in the National Guard
trained men, soundly trained men—and the large National Guard would represent a very
respectable force, maintained at the least expense to the taxpayer and in the most appropriate
manner to the people of this country. As it is those conditions do not exist. We have no resources
to meet the special situation.
As to our units of the permanent establishment, under a program of universal military
training we would have available in 2 weeks the men to fill the existing ranks, trained men, and
the whole picture would be quite different. In that manner we would be able to maintain the
permanent units on a routine basis at much less strength than otherwise would be necessary.
Now, if you follow the other course, no one has been able to explain to me how it could
be done without a tremendous expenditure year after year for the taxpayer. I do not think the
funds would be pro-[p.7/8]vided, considering the fact that the annual budget is one of the
principal issues of a political campaign. For that reason, I searched for some other method, and
this appeared to me to be the only way, so far as personnel is concerned. It offers many, many
byproducts, relating to the Military Establishment and also relating to other factors of our
If there is a better solution, no one has brought it to my attention. Turning to selective
service, I have been convinced by the military authorities, because the military strength has so
greatly dwindled, that its revival is needed now. Here you would only be dealing with the actual
units that we are maintaining and on a temporary basis. Selective service would relate only to the
units that are authorized on a current basis. We cannot afford to maintain many units of that kind.
On the other hand, with universal military training we would have the men to fill up the
units and particularly to make the citizen force a real force with an immediately available
potential strength, which it now lacks and which it cannot develop unless the men in its ranks
have a foundation of training that can only be given in some such manner as this. The procedure
under universal military training, if it is adopted in a carefully arranged fashion, would be much
less expensive than any other system. I think the greatest problem—and I am putting forth now
one of the serious difficulties of the plan—the greatest problem is to find some way that the
armed forces would not have to be burdened with the entire number of trainees available each
year. I think there is a way out that could be found.
To sum it up, I know of no other way from year to year to maintain a military strength
that the world will respect—and that is the key to the problem—without such a great cost that
there is no prospect of being able to carry it on from year to year.
Senator BRIDGES. You feel that, summarizing what you have said, in a republic like the
United States, that has a high standard of living, that already has an enormous budget and that
already has an enormous national debt and who pay their soldiers and their members of their
armed forces and give them the advantages which we do in this country, economically speaking,
the only answer to that is a trained reservoir of youth which will automatically, year by year, be
available to fill into the reserve units, the National Guard and the Reserve of the Army and the
Air Force, and be available? That is the way a democracy or a republic that has the ideals we
have, maintains the standards we do, is able to defend itself as against sapping our very lifeblood
to maintain a permanent huge standing Army, Air Force, and Navy?
Secretary MARSHALL. I think that is correct, sir. Of course, when you speak of the huge
Navy and the Air Force you raise the question of material which is a very serious one. We have
many ships that are out of commission; but the point is, if we try to put them in commission,
where do we turn? We cannot dismantle the going fleet in order to equip those ships which are
out of commission at the very time that we need the fleet at sea.
I am not speaking from a theoretical knowledge; that is exactly what we went through
when we stepped in to the emergency on the last, occasion. The question is, what is the
alternative? I do not know of any alternative. I know that a large standing Army is [p. 8/9]
repugnant to our concept. I am serious about that, although I have been a member of such a force
practically all of my working life. It is also an impracticable procedure from a financial point of
view. Therefore, something else must be done. What is it?
Senator ROBERTSON. Mr. Secretary, you have already answered one of the questions, I
think, that I wished to ask you, and that is a reference to the President’s recommendation that a
temporary reenactment of selective-service legislation be had in order to maintain our armed
forces at their authorized strength. Do you believe that is necessary?
Secretary MARSHALL. Mr. Forrestal and his people could answer you more in detail,
sir, but the data and statistics given me would indicate that is a fact.
Senator ROBERTSON. This question may be more proper at an executive session, and if
you feel that it is so, you do not have to answer it. Do you feel that the European or world
situation justifies the immediate reenactment of the selective-service legislation in order to
maintain our armed forces at their authorized strength?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes, sir, I think the statistics indicate that that is a necessity, and
the world situation also indicates it.
Senator ROBERTSON. The temporary reenactment of selective-service legislation would
take care of the situation until such time as the universal military training would become
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes, sir.
Senator ROBERTSON. How long do you anticipate it would be before the universal
military training became effective and that we should he getting the use of some of the draftees
under that program?
Secretary MARSHALL. I looked up the other day some of the dates with which I
wrestled. My answer really tends to indicate that where there is a will, there is a way. I noticed,
reaching back in my memory a little, that the Congress authorized and the President approved the
Selective Service Act, on the 27th of September, and the first draftee was received by the Army
on the 1st of November; and we literally operated in the mud, but we operated.
It was “on the books,” and the improvement was constant and steady into what you know
was the eventual result. There is a good bit of that now in the pros and cons of what we may do.
If we have lots of time, we can proceed in a very methodical way; and if we have not got lots of
time, there are many things that we can do to hasten the procedure, and Americans under such
circumstances do better, I think, than any other people. They criticize each other while they are
doing them, but they get results.
Senator ROBERTSON. That is as far as selective service is concerned?
Secretary MARSHALL. I am talking about universal military training also.
Senator ROBERTSON. Do you think it is possible that the drafting of young men under
universal military training could take place within 2 months after the Universal Military Training
Act became law? I am taking the 2 months from the figures that you mentioned about the time
that it took to get the selective service into effect.
Secretary MARSHALL. You would have two procedures going on at the same time, but I
should say it could be done in a very few months. You are getting me into a technical discussion
which is the responsibility of the armed forces. [p. 9/10]
Senator ROBERTSON. I wanted to ask you the question, how long you thought after a
draftee became drafted in universal military training before he would be useful for induction into
Secretary MARSHALL. How long after he was drafted, you mean?
Senator ROBERTSON. Yes, sir.
Secretary MARSHALL. You mean before he becomes useful?
Senator ROBERTSON. Yes, sir.
Secretary MARSHALL. Considering his age a little, whether he was 18 or whether he
was 19, I would say after he had 3 months’ service that he would be of material advantage; much
more at 6 months. It would depend entirely on the situation and where we were going to use him.
For example, we took 17 weeks for the training of the individual. Now, of course, in time
of peace you could not train that rapidly because you could not put the pressure on like that. I
would say if it took 17 weeks to train the individual, as we did in time of war, when we finally
got well established, it would take at least 22 weeks or something like that, in time of peace. That
gives a partial answer to your question; but I do not want to have my comment confused into
stating that the universal military training we are talking about means that the individual is then
and there drafted for service, because that would not be the case.
For example, depending on how the situation in the world develops, there might be the
suggestion—and the armed forces could tell you later on whether it is practical or not, but I am
giving you my thinking—that the man after 3 months of this training would be released if he
would enlist immediately in the National Guard. The quicker we transform the National Guard
into a soundly trained force, the stronger our position will be, and the more economical it will be
for our military program.
Senator ROBERTSON. The reason I am asking that question is this: Is it possible to get
some idea how long this temporary reenactment of selective service might be in effect?
Secretary MARSHALL. That, of course, is a matter of estimate, but I would say that if
you should enact a temporary selective service act, I presume that it would only operate to the
extent that was necessary to fill the deficiencies in connection with voluntary enlistments.
The first effect is generally an increase in voluntary enlistments right away. That
generally happens, and it certainly happened last time to quite a pronounced extent. Some
increase in enlistments may result from a slightly different psychological reaction to the
universal training. I think it might well be that you would have in your universal training a
proviso that if a man wanted of his own choice to transfer to the active service, that could be
done. You probably would get quite a few who, animated by the interest engendered by the
association with a large group in a military way, would want to transfer, all of which would tend
to limit the application and duration of universal service.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, Senator Russell has some questions.
Senator RUSSELL. One of them, Mr. Secretary, is largely covered by Senator
Robertson’s questions. You have made your position plain and unequivocal in support of
universal military training. I did think that I caught a shadow of a doubt in the way you phrased
your endorsement of reenactment of selective service, and you said it was [p. 10/11] “apparently
needed” as contrasted with your very definite support of the UMT.
I am one of those who think that the world conditions justify the institution of a system of
universal military training in this country today, as distasteful as it may be, but I am somewhat
confused at this apparently somewhat recent insistence on the return of selective service. It
seems to me that unless there is some danger to our security that is almost imminent, that we
would not be justified in doing both, to get the psychological result from either one that you
would from the two, that it showed determination on the part of this Nation to carry through.
Secretary MARSHALL. What I said was that the temporary application of selective
service is necessary.
Senator RUSSELL. The copy that I have says :
Limited application of a selective service act is apparently necessary.
Secretary MARSHALL. I am reading to you what I said.
Senator RUSSELL. Apparently you eliminated whatever doubt you had reflected in the
original draft before you came around to the second one. You now state that in your opinion as
Secretary of State the national security is in such danger that the Congress should immediately
enact both of these measures.
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes.
Senator RUSSELL. Will you give us some differences between the selective service and
the universal military training? Are both necessary? If you have the UMT, you will have class of
young men, you will have more than a million I understand, who would be required to enter into
service. Why is it necessary to supplement that, the fact that you cannot send the UMT boys
outside the United States?
Secretary MARSHALL. You cannot put the UMT boy in a combat unit. He is not for
service. He is only for training.
Senator RUSSELL. The selective-service man is trained before he is put in a combat unit,
and the purpose of universal training is to train a man to be qualified to go into a combat unit.
Secretary MARSHALL. All drafts of the law that have been proposed, that I know of, are
very careful to avoid any obligation on the part of the young man, or any right on the part of the
armed forces to use him in units of the service. He serves only on a training basis.
There is another difference, Senator, that I might explain better than I did before. When
you apply selective service, it relates only to the units that are actually in being, and not to the
National Guard, for example, or the Reserve forces; so that when you draft men for selective
service, they go to particular units. Under selective service an existing or authorized unit could
be filled up, but the draft does not apply to additional units unless Congress specifically
authorizes an increase in the permanent forces.
Senator RUSSELL. I am one of those who think it would be a good idea to tell the
American people those things. I believe that the people of this country will make any sacrifice
that is required of them to preserve our institutions, if they know all of the facts and are
convinced the danger is real. Has any consideration been given to a clear and definite statement
of policy as to just at which point the forces of the United States will be used to stop, by force,
any threat to our national security? [p. 11/12]
Secretary MARSHALL. Naturally, there has been a great deal of careful thought given to
the various pros and cons and possibilities, but that is something that I could not speak to you
about here at the present time. As the President has indicated with reference to the compact
signed recently in Brussels, it was very necessary for us to see some such action of that kind on
their part, on their own declaration, before we step into the picture, if we do. Having that, we
have a basis of consideration just as we did economically as to the action last summer of the 16
nations at Paris. In this case we did not propose the proposition, although there have been many
speeches by various distinguished citizens of this country advocating some such procedure on
the part of the European nations.
The CHAIRMAN. These are open hearings, and in order to have a good record it will be
committee ruling that we take all statements on the record and then give every witness the
opportunity to correct his remarks. For the committee we want a complete transcript of what is
said. Before printing, any witness may delete whatever may not be in the interest of national
Senator RUSSELL. If there is a matter that should be discussed in executive session, I am
willing, but I think if the American people knew just exactly what was required of them and
knew that the danger was real, or I might say imminent, that all of our difficulties about this
legislation would vanish in thin air. I do not think that you would have any resistance to any
steps that are necessary to put this country in a position to defend itself; and, speaking as one
Senator, I can see no objection whatever to getting all of the democratic peoples of the earth that
will join with us, as many of the members of the United Nations as are willing to subscribe to it,
to make a clear and definite statement that if any other country is absorbed by infiltration or by
coercion or by force, that that means that the forces of the democracies of the earth will
undertake to stop the onward march of aggression.
It should be made so plain that even a wayfaring man in Russia or this country can
understand it. The people of this country would know what is expected of them, and the people
who are undertaking under great difficulties to direct the destinies of these small nations would
know exactly where they stood and would know the forces that they had to support them; and the
Russians would know exactly what they might expect.
I think if we would avoid the devious method of dealing with our foreign relations
country by country and bit by bit and make an over-all statement, we would solve our troubles
about the universal training, about the question of support, and would let the American people
know exactly what was expected of them, and they would support it to the utmost.
As it is now, a great many of them feel like they are being frightened unnecessarily, and
some of them are so unkind as to attribute some of it to political motives, which I do not share at
all, but there is something in the public mind to that effect, and it is causing great resistance to all
that we are undertaking to do here, to put this country on a military footing that is equal to the
emergency which confronts us.
I do wish that we could get a clear and unequivocal statement from the democracies of
the earth as to the position we must take. Otherwise, the thing is going to be frittered away bit by
bit, and we are [p. 12/13] going to have an enormous military establishment through selective
service and through the universal military training; and we will be facing the shore line of the
Bay of Biscay in any effort to stop the enemy. It will all be gone by a gradual process of attrition.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Byrd, do you have any questions?
Senator BYRD. The questions I have, Mr. Chairman, have been pretty well covered.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask General Marshall to explain
a little more fully the fourth paragraph on the second page of your prepared statement, which I
do not understand. Perhaps you have enlarged on it already, but I would appreciate very much if
you would do that.
Secretary MARSHALL. I mean by that, that the armed forces have been occupied in
trying to find some way to meet their commitments, with no elbow room, you might say, in
which to turn around.
I can illustrate that, possibly, by the explanations that General Eisenhower gave to me in
China in June of 1946. He first said that they were in deep trouble as to costs; that considering
the short term of enlistment, the period of preparation of the man, and the time consumed in
transporting him over and back, it was costing $1,000 a month to maintain a soldier in Japan, and
therefore it was becoming increasingly difficult to obtain authorization for the number of troops
that were felt to be needed.
He also told me that 80 percent of the individuals in the Army in continental United
States were wholly absorbed in training, handling, providing for and supporting the men that
were being sent abroad. That left, of this total strength in the United States, which was very
small, only 20 percent which might truly be called in any way a reserve force.
There was no background of a large available reserve for an emergency. All of our
resources were committed, and it was a struggle to try to keep this deployed perimeter up to
At the same time, when any serious situation developed and it was felt that our position
must be strengthened in order to meet it, the only method available was to make the very large
expenditures which are required for increases in personnel strength and in procurement of
We had no solid core. The real base of our trained forces should be here in the United
States and not expended all over the world.
It is true that we have an unusual situation now with occupation forces in Trieste, in
Austria, in our occupied zone in Germany, in Japan and Korea. We had hoped each year to
proceed to reduce these forces by degrees as we got agreements on a basis for treaty or
unification, which we were utterly unable to do.
At the present time the struggle is to find some way to keep this perimeter up to strength.
In this country there is a division and a fraction, I think the Eighty-second Airborne Division, at
a strength of something like—and I am guessing now—12,000 men, with some few additional
smaller units. That is literally all that is available outside of a somewhat similar force of marines.
Such a small reserve force could be very quickly expended, and then there would be little left,
even very little seed corn left. That is what I mean when I say that the situation is one in which
the military policy is one based largely on meeting the problems of attrition, with a contrasting
necessity for larger and larger appropriations to give security.
Senator SALTONSTALL. May I ask one more question: General Marshall, perhaps this
is a problem that is our problem rather than yours, but you say that you have spoken as Secretary
of State, and you may have spoken as a former Chief of Staff, and I would like to ask you a
question which is perhaps as an American citizen.
Secretary MARSHALL. I will try to answer it as such.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Our problem is one of meeting all of the demands upon our
Government, and of supplying the revenues with which to meet them.
Now, one problem that appeals to me enormously, in this time of hoped-for peace, is the
problem of going forward so that when we really have peace we will be in a position where we
can go forward with our American life as we know it.
I assume that you, I hope like myself and others, believe that with what we do here in
building up our military strength we keep ourselves within a balanced budget financially rather
than, as in time of war, where we ran enormous deficits. Do you agree with that principle?
Secretary MARSHALL. I agree with that principle.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Otherwise, we cannot go forward as if we were hopeful for
peace, is that not true?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is what I was trying to indicate in my reply to Senator
Bridges. What we should have done before this time was adopt a policy which was a workable
one, and would not get us into these jams where only a vast expenditure will dig us out of the
Senator SALTONSTALL. To do that, we have got to coordinate our military policy to
the best possible advantage.
Secretary MARSHALL. We have to coordinate to the best possible advantage, meaning
the position of strength that it would give us in the world on the one side, and the respect with
which it would be held by the world on the other side.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Thank you, sir.
Senator HILL. Most of the questions I had in mind have been asked and answered by
General, I was impressed by what you said about the strength of the voice of the State
Department, and our military posture. In other words, as I understood what you said, the strength
of the voice of our State Department is in direct relation to our military posture; is that not
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir,
Senator HILL. In other words, the State Department—
Secretary MARSHALL. I believe to express it another way; you do not lead from
Senator HILL. You do not hear the weak man. It seems to me the gist of your statement is
summed up in the last sentence of the last paragraph on page 2, in which you say :
We desire a state of affairs which would make repetitions of the fate of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the
intimidation of Finland, the subversive operations in Italy and France, and the cold-blooded efforts to destroy the
Greek Government unlikely, because they would definitely be fraught with real danger to those who would attempt
such action. [p. 14/15]
Now, of course, there is no danger from anyone who is weak, is that true?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is true, sir.
Senator HILL. If there is going to be danger, there must be strength; is that right?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct.
Senator HILL. And what you are seeking, as I understand it, is what Washington spoke of
as a respectable military posture—a posture that at the present time and under present conditions
in the world would be a respectable posture that would cause any nation in the world to respect
us and not to wish to have any conflict with us; is that right?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir.
Senator HILL. General, this may be a question more for Secretary Forrestal or General
Bradley than for you, but there is a school of thought in this country, I think, that feels that if we
had great air power it would not be necessary to have land forces and perhaps would not be so
necessary to have a first-rate Navy. Would you want to comment on that?
Secretary MARSHALL. Would you put that again?
Senator HILL. I say, there is a school of thought in this country that takes the position
that if we had the greatest air power in the world today, it would not be so necessary to have
ground troops and perhaps not so necessary to have such a strong Navy.
Secretary MARSHALL. Well, a little bit depends on the implication of the expression “so
necessary.” I am of the opinion that each one requires the other two, and that was our very
evident experience throughout the last war. The Air is utterly dependent on the airfields or the air
bases. The Navy is dependent on ports and anchorages, and on some ability to make the effect of
the Navy felt inland, rather than merely on the high seas, unless it is possible to reduce your
enemy entirely by blockade.
The development in China in the latter phase of the war was one of the best examples that
I know. After elaborate plans, and tremendous effort in moving tonnage over the Hump—to our
detriment, in Italy and even to our landing in Normany, and the vast expenditure of planes there
that we might have used elsewhere—we succeeded in China in developing quite a series of
airfields from which our planes created a destructive threat; along the China coast, from Canton
to the north and over the China Sea. The minute the threat grew serious, the Japanese Army
moved in and captured most of the leading airfields in a very brief campaign, because there was
no adequate ground force with adequate equipment to defend those fields. A number of the
young fliers felt that they could defend them all from the air. That proved wholly wrong, as the
Chiefs of Staff had decided it was wrong in their original consideration of the matter.
Now, the Army, the Ground Army is rather helpless without the Navy; and the Navy is
rather helpless without the air protection, even beyond that which it furnishes itself; and the Air
cannot function unless it has the ground fields, that is certain. The question is, What is the
balance? We take into consideration that we live between two oceans, that we have quite an
extensive land area to the north and south. Other nations are differently situated, some of the
European [p. 15/16] nations, as is Soviet Russia in particular. Their situation is utterly different
in those respects. What is required by one country may be required in a far greater or lesser
degree by another.
All three are components necessary. The problem is to have them in proper balance, and
then to have the necessary teamwork among them when they are brought into use.
Does that answer the question?
Senator HILL. I think so.
Senator BYRD. General, I have this question: The President, in his message, said today:
One nation, however, has persistently obstructed the work of the United Nations by constant abuse of the
veto. That nation has vetoed 21 proposals for action in a little over 2 years.
I would like to ask if the State Department has any recommendations in mind with
respect to strengthening the United Nations?
Secretary MARSHALL. Senator Byrd, at the present time, following the action of the
United Nations, on our initiative, at Lake Flushing last fall, an interim committee was set up
which goes on continuously through the year, and one of its jobs is to come in with a
recommendation as to what we should do about that particular issue. There is a great desire by
many, and great pressure has been received in the State Department, at least by me personally, to
proceed to secure an immediate change. It is like amending the Constitution of the United States,
rather a slow process, particularly when there are more than 50 nations involved. The great
majority, almost all, of those nations are in favor of a limitation on the use of the veto. The
question is how we can bring it about, and not merely wreck the United Nations.
In view of the situation in the world, the critical nature of affairs, this continuous
obstruction by process of a veto is profoundly irritating, disturbing, and weakening. But at the
same time, as you gentlemen know better than I, the amending of the Constitution or the Charter
is not to be quickly done; and here you have the situation that in the very process of calling
together these people, to consider an amendment you are confronted with the veto. And your
probable result at the moment, if you proceeded rather precipitately to do it, might be the
destruction of the United Nations, a very serious consideration.
I think we are at the problem, and I hope that out of this will come a recommendation, in
the gradual solidification of opinion, that will bring about remedial action.
I would add one more thing, that of course the United Nations is functioning under
conditions for which it was never intended, and that, of course, has to be taken into consideration
in practically everything we do.
Senator BYRD. It would appear to me that if this situation continues much longer, the
future usefulness of the United Nations is going to be completely destroyed.
Secretary MARSHALL. That is threatened all of the time, and we are struggling all the
while to keep it alive.
Senator BYRD. If we cannot get along with Russia within the United Nations, I am
wondering if it would not be better to form an association of peace-loving nations, and let Russia
stay out if she will not stay in and cooperate. [p. 16/17]
We are faced with a practical situation whereby she has stymied and nullified practically
every effort made for world peace by the United Nations. I was wondering if you cared to
express yourself on that, and, if not, I will understand.
Secretary MARSHALL. I would rather not comment on that.
Senator BYRD. I am very earnest, Mr. Secretary, in urging from my standpoint that
something should be done soon to put new life into the United Nations. If we are to rely at all on
the United Nations to bring about an effective world peace, the longer this present situation
continues the more difficult it is going to be to reconstitute it for effective action.
Secretary MARSHALL. I would say this, Senator Byrd, that I think the frustrations and
the dangers and the difficulties probably come home to me as strongly as to any individual in the
country, except the President; and yet I have felt all of the way through that I must be very
careful that I do not cause the termination of negotiations. That is an easy thing to do but it
would have very serious consequences. So my feeling throughout has been to make every
conceivable effort to see if we cannot reach a normal basis for agreements.
I think our procedure now, with the European recovery program and what is being
recommended here today, might have a very helpful effect in our getting to a point where we can
proceed with negotiations with a reasonable hope that they will mean something.
Senator BYRD. Just one more question. This commission which you mentioned, when
will that make a report?
Secretary MARSHALL. I do not know what has happened at the present time. They are
in the process now.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Wilson, do you have any questions?
Senator WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, in response to the question of the Senator from Alabama, you indicated
you needed, to sustain the State Department, a certain amount of military posture. Would you
give us an indication as to the size that you think is necessary?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is a very difficult question to answer unless one goes into
all of the details which relate to personnel, such as the size of the fleet, the maintenance
personnel, the actual number of planes that we now have, and the status of the ground forces. It
is rather simple in relation to the last, and I could answer that right now.
Senator WILSON. But, Mr. Secretary. I think perhaps you have not caught the purport of
my question. You say that we must enact universal military training now and revitalize selective
service because, as I understood, you said that we had to have a large military posture in order to
help out the State Department.
Now, the only question I am asking you is this: How many is it, 1,000,000, 2,000,000, or
Secretary MARSHALL. First, that we fill the ranks of the existing forces; and second,
that we create a machine for adequate development of reserve personnel; that we proceed as
quickly its can he managed to transform the National Guard from a force which has no
immediate potential for use beyond the continental limits, into a force that is readily available.
Now, when you have developed the force of the National Guard alone, it then
immediately reduces the necessities in other directions. [p. 17/18]
When you come to the actual strength of the existing permanent forces of the ground
Army, to be specific, I must turn to the military authorities who are making the calculations and
who are going to appear here.
Senator WILSON. Thank you very much, but you still have not answered my question.
You have made a statement here that you need so many ground forces or so many in number for
military protection of your State Department policy. I am asking you now, as Secretary of State,
to tell me how many you think it is or it should be?
Secretary MARSHALL. Senator, we have in this country one and a fraction divisions.
Senator WILSON. Now, Mr. Chairman, if you will pardon me.
Mr. Secretary, tell me how many you need. The Congress of the United States stands
willing and ready, no matter what means may be necessary, to sustain the security of our
Government, and now will you tell us your answer? We know the number.
Secretary MARSHALL. You know the number ?
Senator WILSON. Yes.
Secretary MARSHALL. You know the number, and you are asking me?
Senator WILSON. I do not know the number I am asking you, Mr. Secretary, but you say
that you need so many troops, and now tell me the number of those troops?
Secretary MARSHALL. I did not use the expression that we needed “so many troops,”
but you are asking me, Senator, to be aware now of a technical military situation and to give you
the details of it. If you give me 2 days in which I do not have anything else to do, I will come
back and give you those figures. But as Secretary of State, I do not have them at the end of my
Senator WILSON. Maybe I misunderstood the Secretary, Mr. Chairman. If I did, I
apologize. But I understood you to say that we had to have a certain number of troops to
maintain our military posture, and what I am trying to do is find out how many that is.
Secretary MARSHALL. I do not recall saying just what you quoted. My intention was to
say that we must have an adequate force. Then your question would be addressed to what I think
was an adequate force?
Senator WILSON. That is right.
Now, if I may ask another question, please. Do you think universal military training will
produce that force for you?
Secretary MARSHALL. Universal military training produces the background of available
men, which changes the whole picture, without having to maintain as large a force as would
otherwise be necessary. There are two things here that we are considering, Senator. One is filling
up the present deficiencies in the existing force, due to lack of personnel; and the other is
determining what additions to that force are requisite, under the existing conditions, in the Air, in
the Navy, and for the Ground Force. And a third one is to estimate what effect universal military
training lies on the whole.
Senator WILSON. Pursuing that a little bit further, as I understand it we have somewhere
around 900,000 now in the armed services, exclusive of the Navy. That is true, is it not?
Secretary MARSHALL. I do not know, sir. I have sort of a faint recollection that the
authorities of the armed forces were going to ask for 900,000. I am not quite certain what the
figure is, but that can be given you.
The CHAIRMAN. For the information of the Senator, I believe the Ground Forces and
the Air are approximately 900,000, and the Navy approximately 500,000 in addition to the
Senator WILSON. That is right. The thing, Mr. Chairman, that I am inquiring about is
how many more do we need now?
Secretary MARSHALL. We need enough additional men to fill up all of the units that are
now authorized, and we need a Reserve force in this country of a certain number of divisions,
which I would not attempt to estimate at the present moment because that is not in my bailiwick,
nor have I the time to go into all of the details.
I do know that on any proposal or any proposition in relation to military forces, the
military authorities advise us that they cannot do anything without an immediate partial
Senator WILSON. May I call your attention to this, that the enlistment in the Army and
the Air Forces for the month of January and the month of February were greater than they have
ever been, voluntary enlistments. Do you know that?
Secretary MARSHALL. In the Army?
Senator WILSON. Yes.
Secretary MARSHALL. Than they have ever been?
Senator WILSON. Since doing away with selective service and from the time we put into
operation the voluntary system. I will say that is true, and the only authority I have for that is
from the Armed Force Magazine, and I have not verified that, and I want to be frank with you.
Secretary MARSHALL. I have not read the Armed Force Magazine.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Morse, do you have any questions?
Senator MORSE. I have one or two questions.
I want to say, Mr. Secretary, that it is my position that this legislation, this proposed
legislation, rests upon proponents stating the burden of proof that this particular legislation is
essential to national security; and if sustained, of course, I think it then becomes our duty to vote
Now, I may judge from your remarks, may I not, that it is your opinion that our national
security calls for the passage of this legislation?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes, sir.
Senator MORSE. And that is your answer to the burden of proof problem that confronts
us as Senators. Am I correct in assuming that that conclusion of yours is based on the fact that
you think we need he manpower, the military manpower that would be produced by these two
pieces of legislation, both to defend us here at home, if necessary, and also to defend the
principles of freedom for which our form and system of government stands, elsewhere in the
world if those principles are aggressed upon by any aggressor?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, with the addition of this one thought, that I feel
that the provision of these forces under the terms of the proposal before Congress would create a
situation quite different from that at the present time. One which we feel, or we think, would
avoid the issue. [p. 19/20]
Senator MORSE. In view of what I, at least, think are the clear implications of your
testimony, and it is certainly not only the implications but the assertions in the President’s
excellent speech of this afternoon, even though one may disagree with some of the details of it,
the essentiality of this legislation from the standpoint of national security must be based upon a
finding that to the extent our security, is threatened, it is because of Russian policy in the world
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir.
Senator MORSE. Therefore, the passage of this legislation—and correct me if I
misinterpret your opinion—would do two things: First, it would serve clear notice on Russia of
our intention not only to defend ourselves but to defend the peace elsewhere in the world from
aggressive tactics; and second, to make very clear to her that if her policy should continue, there
is going to be a point at which she will find herself in conflict with us?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is approximately correct.
Senator MORSE. Therefore, the legislation is necessary to protect our national security in
case those potentialities should develop into eventualities?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir, again with the same addition, that I think if
action is taken here, the probabilities are that we will avoid trouble.
Senator MORSE. That is the next question I was going to raise. Am I correct in
assuming—saying this to you as Secretary of State rather than as former Chief of Staff—that it is
your hope that once we do demonstrate through such legislation as this, our intention and our
willingness and our ability to enforce the peace, that she may the seek to reach peaceful
settlements with us through negotiations and through the procedures of the United Nations,
rather than take advantage of our present weak condition and continue with aggressive policies?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir.
Senator MORSE. I have two more questions, Mr. Secretary. I think the question which
the Senator from Alabama raised is a very important one in these hearings, because I think there
are millions of people in America today—and we can talk all we want to about a united
populace, but we are not going to get united until we get the facts out to them in regard to
national security—I think part of our disunity as of this hour is created by the fact that there are
millions of American people today who believe quite sincerely that we do not need either one of
these pieces of legislation, but what we do need is to develop to the maximum extent possible
our latent air potentialities as far as air power is concerned. The Senator from Alabama raised
In want to specify it a bit more, if I may. I want to ask this question: The American
people are to understand from your testimony this afternoon, are they, that the development of
our air power to maximum potentialities would not give us the national security which you feel
we must have, in order to meet the problems that confront us the international field today?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir, because you have to have the bases from
which to operate air power, and also you are engaging in tremendously expensive procedure. [p.
Senator MORSE. Plus the fact, am I correct, that if a dark hour of war should come, you
will not win that war by bombing alone, but you have to have land forces to follow through even
on your air attacks?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct.
Senator MORSE. And that an air victory does not give you a military victory in the sense
of winning a war, until you also are in a position, and that takes manpower, to really effectuate
the terms of the peace that you would have to lay down at the termination of the war?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir. I think however much any future war starts
in the air, as in the past, it will end in the mud and on the ground.
But there is more to it than that. I think one of the great difficulties in regard to air power,
and the American people, and their attitude toward life, is that its application involves so much
of the loss of life of nonmilitary persons, children as well as grown people. That is almost
unavoidable, and yet that is very, very terrible.
We reached the point, in the last war, where we were so infuriated over the practices of
the Japanese and of the Germans that the American people were willing to go through with it. I
thought it was vital that they should; but it was a terrible thing to have to use that type of power.
If you are confronted with the use of that type of power in the beginning of the war you are also
confronted with a very certain reaction of the American people. They have to be driven very hard
before they will agree to such a drastic use of force.
Senator MORSE. Would it be fair to supplement that statement, Mr. Secretary, by
pointing out that if the present trend in international affairs continues so that we might find our
national security more seriously threatened than it is at the present hour, we are going to need a
tremendous trained, manpower, not only for possible use elsewhere but for use in our own land
in case of air attack here and in case of civilian defense need?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir, and I think that is one of the byproducts of
universal military training, that you have enough men you can utilize in that fashion.
Senator MORSE. As to the Selective Service Act which is proposed, Mr. Secretary, am I
correct in my understanding that it is not contemplated that the veterans of the past war would be
included in the operation of that Selective Service Act; or is it contemplated to also include
within its immediate operation the men who served in the past war?
Secretary MARSHALL. Senator, I have not been involved in that part of the procedure,
so I only know what I read in the paper. I have not had time to discuss with the military
authorities what the plan was.
Senator MORSE. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, Senator Maybank has some questions.
Senator MAYBANK. I just wanted to ask the Secretary one question, a question that I
had in mind.
As I understand, the selective service is only to take care of the needs of the Army, which
are about 150,000, and the Air Force 55,000; and he reason for that is because the UMT boys
cannot be put into the Army or into any units, is that correct? [p. 21/22]
Secretary MARSHALL. The UMT boys could not be put into any of the armed services.
Senator MAYBANK. Mr. Secretary, I have not seen the length of the term which one
would be expected to serve under selective service if it is reinstated. Do you recall what the
Secretary MARSHALL. I think their last recommendation was 6 months.
Senator MAYBANK. Another thought that I had was this, in keeping with what Senator
Russell said: I think if the American people knew more, they would be more aroused and would
be more willing to help on these things. For instance on UMT, the main objections that come to
my office appear from a lot of parents and from preachers and from educators, and so forth and
so on, saying that we are in substance taking these young men away from home and putting them
off in these camps with older men, and perhaps they might pick up bad habits.
I had the pleasure of being at Fort Knox, where all of the boys were of the same age, and
I know that is not a fact. All of the boys were in the same building, and all associated together
with their own groups.
I may just add to what Senator Russell said, if that could be gotten over to the parents of
the boys in this country, and the preachers and the others, some of whom have opposed this
legislation, we would he much better off.
Senator BALDWIN. Mr. Secretary, may I say first that I am one who is heartily in favor
of universal military training, and I also believe that we ought to reenact selective service so that
we can fill up the components of the armed forces.
The thing that is going to bother me, though, in working on this legislation, is the
question of how are you going to differentiate as to what each man is to do. For instance, under
universal military training these men will go into the Reserve and into the National Guard if they
choose to do so; and under selective service they will be taken and put into the combat
components of the regular armed forces. Is there any formula that we can work out to
differentiate between those two classes, and help us decide how those men should he selected,
that you can suggest?
Secretary MARSHALL. I have no suggestion to offer at the moment, sir, because I have
not read the drafts that have been prepared by the armed forces section of the Government as to
what is their idea of the temporary application of the Selective Service Act.
In a sense, the only relation between the two—universal military training on the one side
and selective service on the other—is that one fills up the actual units of the armed forces, and
the other merely provides trained reserves which cannot be put in the armed forces without
further action by Congress.
But I should think it would not be too difficult to find a basis for what your question
Senator BALDWIN. You do feel very strongly that there should be that differentiation,
that is, that universal military training should be put forward as a proposal and enacted into
legislation that would carry through the principle that those who went into universal military
training would not be used immediately in the combat forces?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes, sir, I think that is very, very important. That is really the
basis on which the whole procedure is constructed. [p. 22/23]
Senator BALDWIN. No sooner had we gotten back to the Senate after hearing the
President’s message to Congress than one of the gentlemen who has, I think, pursued the line
more or less of attempting to appease Russia, which has always seemed to me to he an absolute
impossibility and very poor as a matter of national policy, said that this move would be
interpreted as a threat on the part of the United States toward Russia, and as I interpreted what he
said, it is a threat of aggression on our part.
I do not understand that there is any such thought behind it in any way, shape or manner,
and I would appreciate your comments on that point.
Secretary MARSHALL. All I can say, sir, is that we are accused of an imperialistic
policy in proposing the European recovery program, which was not conceived with any
Machiavellian plot behind it; and to be more specific and personal, I am supposed to be the
Shylock of Wall Street. I got that title on a very limited capital. What you say is some more of
the same pattern.
Senator BALDWIN. While you are here, I might say the Secretary made an error. He said
that Russia had vetoed 22 proposals instead of 21, and you gave them the benefit of the doubt on
In other words, it is your opinion that, paraphrasing a clause or phrase that was uttered
some time ago, in this day and age we ought to speak friendly but calmly and firmly, and carry a
good strong stick, and we can avoid trouble best by that course?
Secretary MARSHALL. I think that that is exactly it, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You might also add, Mr. Secretary, that you are recommending this
program not as a war program, but as being the best chance of not going to war; is that not right?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is exactly it, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And if I may be permitted, in advance of the other members of the
committee, it is your firm belief that a conflagration of any size, of any large movement
anywhere in the United States or anywhere in the world, is a potential threat to us and will reach
us eventually; is that right?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct.
The CHAIRMAN, Therefore, you are recommending this program for immediate men in
the combat forces, selective service, to not only strengthen our perimeter but increase the
reserves in the United States, and UMT is just a reserve measure which cannot be thrown into the
combat forces until another act of Congress has been passed?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, Senator Kilgore has some questions, and then Senator
Maybank has another one, as I understand it.
Senator KILGORE. Mr. Secretary, having you in your new place as head of our
international relations, I want to ask you if it is not a fact that our past history has been one of
hating any idea of military preparedness in time of peace? Has that not been the record of the
United States of America? We have been opposed to anything of a militaristic nature in time of
Secretary MARSHALL. I was turning over the word “hate”. We certainly fail to prepare
in time of peace, and we have had an aversion to doing so.
Senator KILGORE. That is a better word, an aversion. Is that mental attitude well known
abroad? [p. 23/24]
Secretary MARSHALL. I think it is pretty well understood at the top, at least, that we
have such a decided aversion in time of peace. I think also they feel that we do not understand
the world picture very well, and that we are very slow to act, and that these will be time to
accomplish their own purpose before we can vitalize our strength.
Senator KILGORE. In dealing on a diplomatic level with these nations, would it be of
advantage for these nations to know that the temper of the American people has changed, that
they are perfectly willing to prepare in time of peace and to stand ready for instant action? In
other words, there is a psychological effect of that, and would that assist in the negotiations, or
would it deter the negotiations by casting upon us the theory that we have a chip on our shoulder
and we are out hunting for trouble?
Secretary MARSHALL. I think the psychological effect is the great immediate
importance of the action, because it would register a decision of the American people in a very
important matter, it would make plain to the world that we are going to be strong in a military
way and that we are determined to back up our course. The psychological factor is of tremendous
importance in this, just as the psychological factor in relation to the recovery program has
already been of great importance.
Senator KILGORE. As a matter of actual fact, in dealing on the diplomatic level with
foreign nations, the psychological factor is the paramount thing with which you have to deal, is
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct.
Senator KILGORE. To make this fully effective, is it not your impression, Mr. Secretary,
that activities on our part of the nature would have the most psychological effect if and when
other nations were convinced that our people were behind those actions, as a people?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes, sir.
Senator KILGORE. And that it was not an effort to get ready for a possible immediate
war, but that our people are wholeheartedly behind a complete change of attitude on our foreign
policy, and a desire to see that our rights were protected and that peace was maintained?
Secretary MARSHALL. I agree with that completely, sir.
Senator KILGORE. That is all that I have.
The CHAIRMAN. I believe now all of the members of the committee have had a chance
to ask questions. We have some visitors here, other Members of the Senate. Senator Lodge, of
the Foreign Relations Committee, is here with us and, Senator, we will be glad to have you ask
any questions of the Secretary that you may wish to put to him.
Senator LODGE. I thank you for your hospitality. Senator Thye had to leave, and he
asked me to ask one question in his name. I will ask that first.
His question is: Are you satisfied with the scientific development in aviation in this
country, from what you know about it?
Secretary MARSHALL. I do not know enough about it at the present time to make an
appropriate answer to your question, sir.
Senator LODGE. Then I would like to ask one or two questions on my own behalf
chiefly with the thought of clearing up a few misapprehensions that have arisen. I was asked
today what were the methods available to us for building up our Regular force, and I made this
answer and I would like you to say whether you think it was a correct [p.24/25] answer: I said
that we could increase the number of civilians in our armed forces, thereby freeing a certain
number of men for combat duties, but that that at the most would only yield a few; that we could
authorize the recruitment of aliens by our forces, which would also yield but a few.
Secretary MARSHALL. What was the last one?
Senator LODGE. We could authorize the recruitment of aliens into our armed forces, but
that would only yield a few; and that the third method left open to us, assuming that the
volunteer system was not producing results, was the enactment of selective service.
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, sir.
Senator LODGE. That is a correct answer?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes. I might add to that, though, that I think the second matter is
worthy of very serious consideration as one means of limiting the application of the selective
Senator LODGE. I am very glad to have you say that. I have introduced a bill authorizing
the recruitment of aliens, and I hope to have a chance to appear before this committee later on in
Secretary MARSHALL. In connection with that particular bill, I think the State
Department was largely responsible for the unfavorable report that came out on it, but I think
there is a basis of action that is being very carefully looked into at the present time, which I
would like to talk to you about later.
Senator LODGE. I would like to ask one question on the matter of UMT, in order to
develop the point that when M-day comes it will save us a great deal of time. Did I understand
you to say that if we had UMT in operation, that the National Guard would be an M-day force?’
Secretary MARSHALL. That was the intimation that I gave, meaning this: that under
universal military training, I would assume that Federal Govermnent support of the National
Guard would not be provided for men that were not the product of universal military raining.
That would mean that the National Guard would have to obtain its volunteers from the universal
military training output, thus the National Guard therefore would have in its ranks all men
basically trained. I assume, if the measure is properly managed, that the officer strength, and this
is not immediate of course, would come largely from the ROTC, which in turn would come from
the most successful candidates of universal military training, from those who had made the best
Senator LODGE. How much time would be saved in getting the National Guard onto a
war footing as a result of this UMT?
Secretary MARSHALL. You mean after it has really gotten into effect?
Senator LODGE. As compared with the time it would take for us to do it otherwise.
Secretary MARSHALL. I would say that it would save at least a year.
Senator LODGE. At least a year?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes.
Senator LODGE. But still the National Guard would not be on an immediate-readiness
footing to the same extent as the Regular Army?
Secretary MARSHALL. No, but it would probably be so close that by the time we could
provide shipping, as long as we, kept the affair out of this country, it would be practically ready
for the available transport. [p.25/26]
Senator LODGE. As soon as the shipping was ready?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes.
Senator LODGE. Would UMT accelerate the readiness necessary for mobilization of the
Navy and the Air Force to the same extent?
Secretary MARSHALL. I think it would, sir, because there is quite a problem for the
Navy, which they themselves discuss much better than I can, in putting ships into commission.
Six months’ training applied to naval practices certainly would be productive of a great
advantage in commissioning vessels that had to be put promptly into service.
Senator LODGE. Broadly speaking, UMT confers benefits on the Navy and Air Force
that correspond to the benefits on the Ground Forces?
Secretary MARSHALL. And it would also confer this benefit. Many men in the UMT
would find, after they had had their prenaval or pre-air training which would be given in the
UMT, a desire to volunteer for the Navy or volunteer for the Air, and they would arrive there
with their basic training all completed.
Senator LODGE. I have one more question, which is suggested to me by remarks made
to me by constituents. That is that UMT means that the 18-year-olders will have to bear the
burden of the war.
Now as I understand it, the 18-year-older, as long as he is in the UMT set-up, cannot be
put into a combat unit. Is that correct.?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is correct, and I think that that is the way it should be
Senator LODGE. And after he leaves UMT and goes into the Reserve, and if war should
develop, he then goes into a unit with men of a wide variety of ages?
Secretary .MARSHALL. That is correct.
Senator LODGE. So that there would be no combat units composed exclusively of 18-
year-olders, is that right?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is true.
Senator LODGE. Would you say that this statement was broadly true: That enactment of
the pending program now might very well mean that we could avoid the necessity for universal
conscription and possible casualty lists later?
Secretary MARSHALL. Would you state that again?
Senator LODGE. That if we enact this pending program now, that is, UIMT and limited
selective service, we may very well avoid the need for universal conscription and possible
casualty lists later?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is very much my view.
Senator LODGE. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Williams, do you have any questions?
Senator WILLIAMS. I have no questions.
Senator MAYBANK. Might I ask the Secretary another question? You said a while ago
that you advocated the bill presented by Mr. Lodge that is to be sent to this committee, and you
said and the Senator mentioned the fact that his bill called for the enlistment of aliens. That
would include Germans or Japanese, would it; or would they, because of the status between our
nations at this time, not be included?
Secretary MARSHALL. Who was it you said would also be included?
Senator MAYBANK. Would it include the enlistment of Germans and Japanese? [p.
Secretary MARSHALL. I do not know the terms that would be written into the
legislation. I would assume that it probably would not.
Senator LODGE. It would authorize them to enlist aliens if they were properly screened.
Senator MAYBANK. And would not bar Germans and Japanese?
Senator LODGE. It would not bar personnel that was screened and that measured up to
certain requirements, but I imagine that there would be very few in those categories that would
measure up to the requirements.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Saltonstall.
Senator SALTONSTALL. General Marshall, I have one question. One thing that you said
to Senator Lodge interested me very much, because I think it is going to become rather difficult
to draw the line. You said, and I understand it to be the way in which it is going to be put
forward, a man who goes into universal military training at the age of 18 would not be subject to
the draft. On the other hand, the men who have been selected in this last war will not be subject
to being redrafted. Now, you take the men who have been selected in this last war, there are
many who are still just 20 years old, and I have a son, for instance, in that category.
If you take the 18-year-olders into universal military training but do not take the 20-year-
olders, you have got a pretty thin line there on which to get selective service, so that it seems to
me it may be a little bit difficult to make a flat statement that no one that goes into universal
military training will be subject to the draft.
Secretary MARSHALL. I think there is a little confusion here. Senator Lodge, as I recall
the question of the Senator, was referring to the fact that a man that is in the universal military
training program is not subject to service.
Senator SALTONSTALL. I understand that.
Senator LODGE. That is correct.
Secretary MARSHALL. We were not talking about his not being subject to the national
Selective Service Act.
Senator SALTONSTALL. When he is not subject to service, are you not getting the
number of people who may be subject to immediate service in a combat unit down to a very
small, thin margin where you cannot really draw the line too closely between universal military
training and those who may be subject to the draft?
Secretary MARSHALL. There is still a confusion.
Senator LODGE. What I said was that he is not subject to service while he is in the UMT
set-up, but of course after he leaves the UMT set-up and the national emergency arises and a war
arises, then he s subject to service in a combat unit, but not exclusively then with other 18-year-
olders. He goes into a unit with men of all military ages.
Senator SALTONSTALL. I think I understand that. But I hope that you want to make it
clear, certainly to men like myself, that a boy an go into universal military training and be free
from service in a combat unit, just because he has been through universal military raining. Now,
that is the way I got your remarks.
Secretary MARSHALL. That is still incorrect. What I know Senator Lodge was trying to
have me make clear or accentuate was the fact that universal military training does not involve
any service in the Army itself. The discussion brought up by your question relates to the appli-[p.
27/28]cation of selective service, we will say, both to the man in the training, in military training,
and the man who is graduated from the military training, which is quite another matter. What the
terms are, to be proposed to the Congress by Secretary Forrestal and his people, I do no know. I
should imagine there would be a separation in there, somewhat of the character that you
describe, but I would not undertake to answer that.
The thing that I was trying to make clear is that universal military training does not
involve, in our conception, any authority on the part of the armed forces or the Government to
use that man in the armed forces.
Senator LODGE. In other words, universal military training is to the advantage of the 18-
year-old from every standpoint, and those who say it is going to make him bear the brunt are
entirely wrong, because as long as he is in the UMT set-up he cannot be in a unit. And when he
leaves the UMT set-up and goes into the general Reserve and is subsequently called up in case of
war, he joins a unit with men of other ages, which again is to his advantage.
Secretary MARSHALL. There always has been great confusion, and sometimes
deliberate confusion, to the effect that the universal military training we were talking about
permitted the armed forces to take that boy and put him into the military units. That was never
intended, and as a matter of fact I would feel that that ought to be very carefully stipulated so it
could not happen, because it would defeat a great deal of the purpose of UMT.
On the other hand, my own reaction to the psychological factors involved is that when
you have a large group of people, and not just one boy in the block but all of the boys in the
block, that you would find very little difficulty in getting volunteers for the permanent forces.
The permanent forces should be on a voluntary basis, if it is at all possible to so maintain them,
but they should not be on a voluntary basis only because we purchase it at such a high price that
we cannot maintain a reasonable force.
We are in the last position now, but we should follow a practice which encourages the
enlistment of the very people we most want, and when they go to the armed forces they go on
their own volition, and they go already pretty well prepared and knowing what they are going
Senator SALTONSTALL. May I say that I thank you. I tried to bring it out because I am
just one of those stupid parents who are worried.
Secretary MARSHALL. I do not blame you for the confusion, because I hear it on all
Senator LODGE. I have a son who is going to be 18 next August, so I am very much
The CHAIRMAN. I believe it is the responsibility of this committee to make it very clear
during these hearings as to just how, in detail, not only selective service will be applied in order
to get the units up to strength, but absolutely in detail just how UMT will be applied; and that,
shall we say, graduates of UMT will go into the Reserve set-ups, and their future service after
UMT will depend entirely on future legislation in case of a great national emergency.
We are about ready to end the hearings, and I am sure we are about out of questions, and
also I am sure that your energy has been taxed this afternoon in answering all of us. You have
been on the receiving [p.28/29] end from about a dozen Senators here, and we have only taken
part of the burden.
There is one statement that you made, Secretary Marshall, that should cause everybody in
America much concern, and that is that there are only one and a third divisions, or some such
amount, as combat reserves in the United States. I assume that you would not be recommending,
personally, selective service at this time if those reserves were sufficient in size, is that right?
Secretary MARSHALL. If those reserves were sufficient in size, meaning also if they
were up to strength, and if the forces overseas were up to strength, that is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. I understood that, and it was predicated on that, that our overseas
occupation troops, all with jobs to do, and the reserves at home, were sufficient; and then you
would not be recommending selective service?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Evidently these small reserves do cause you great concern, because of
possible threat, immediate threat, to some of our outlying bases.
Secretary MARSHALL. They cause me concern because they represent an evident
inability on our part to back up what we insist upon.
However, I want to say this, that of course the rest of the world realizes that so far as the
green water is concerned we have great power, and so far as the air is concerned we have, I
believe, great power.
The CHAIRMAN. But you do recognize that ground soldiers are needed, and therefore
you say those reserves must be built up?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. And you say that as Secretary of State, knowing full well the
possibility of an actual threat to our own security?
Secretary MARSHALL. Yes, sir. Our security is involved in any kind of a war.
The CHAIRMAN. Because you could not conceive of a reserve of even as much as 10
divisions being enough to carry on an actual all-out war in any place on the globe, could you?
Secretary MARSHALL. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. It would take many more troops than that.
Secretary MARSHALL. That is where your universal military training forms the solid
background of what we should do, I think.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, if there are no further questions, thank you very much, Mr.
Secretary. We appreciate your coming down here.
Tomorrow morning the committee will be in session at 10 o’clock, at which time we will
have here Secretary Forrestal, Secretary Sullivan of the Navy, and Secretary Symington of the
Air Forces, and Secretary Royall of the Army.
We will stand in recess until 10 o’clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 4:30 p.m., a recess was taken until 10 a.m., Thursay, March 18, 1948.)