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March 22, 1939 Washington, D.C.
Mr. Green, Division of Controls, State Department, is preparing a recommendation to the Secretary of State for a law to facilitate the restriction of the exportation of scrap iron. I sent a memorandum to the Secretary of War today, via General Craig, to that effect, and said that I would give the Secretary a copy of Mr. Green’s proposal, which is to be ready tomorrow.2
(This paper should be gotten from the State Department, given to Colonel Bull for the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of War).
Colonel Rose, G-4 Division, is the proper officer to be consulted about it.3
The Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and Attorney General were to draw up the law.
This was a kind of emotional proposition brought up in Cabinet meeting, when, as a matter of fact, it had been incited, I think, by the iron and steel men, who want the price of scrap kept low for their use during the filling of big contracts at this time.4
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. This memorandum was not specifically addressed to any person or office. On the bottom of the page someone wrote: “This memo by Gen. Marshall prior to departure on air trip.”
2. Joseph C. Green was chief of the Division of Controls and executive secretary of the National Munitions Control Board.
3. Colonel John S. Rose (U.S.M.A., 1907), of the Ordnance corps, had been in the Logistics Division (G4) since July, 1935.
4. On this subject, secretary of the Interior Ickes commented: “The subject of selling scrap iron to foreign nations was raised at Cabinet meeting last Friday [March 17] by the Secretary of War. He thought that we ought not to sell this abroad and the President thought well of the suggestion. He asked the Vice President what he thought of it, and his reply was that sales should have been prohibited long ago." (Ickes, Secret Diary, 2: 599.)
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 709-710.