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To Bernard M. Baruch
April 3, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
Dear Mr. Baruch:
I was sorry to learn from General Trott at Camp Jackson that you were delayed in your arrival there, did not have an opportunity to wee the Division under arms, and as a matter of fact, only had a very brief opportunity to see how things were going. However, I am encouraged by the fact that you think you will be able to go over to Benning.
The First [Fourth] Army Corps exercise there, and incidentally, the first in our peace-time history, gets under way, I think, on April 15th, but a more interesting exercises will occur a few days later. I possibly will be down there on April 22d or 23d,—but when you go I wish to send an officer from the War Department to meet you there and to stay with you throughout your visit. I wish to do this because, while the people on the ground can give you excellent descriptions of the various phases of what they are doing, yet their knowledge is confined to the immediate unit rather than to the larger application to National Defense as a whole. If you are going down by rail, I would like to send my man to make the trip with you from Georgetown or Charleston, or from wherever you start.
We have just had the report this morning of the House Subcommittee on Appropriations, in which they slice approximately $67,000,000. in cash from our proposal as approved by the Budget Bureau. My particular concern at the moment is over the elimination of the $11,000,000. we asked for the establishment of an air base at Anchorage, Alaska. While I could go along with a cut, yet I think it is a highly dangerous business not to give us at least sufficient money to get started up there. For that reason I am sending you herewith a statement on the Anchorage situation, together with a map, both of which are copies of documents which I sent to the White House this morning. I must ask you to treat this information as confidential in so far as would indicate that I had given you an exact duplicate of what I had just sent to the President. However, if the opportunity presents itself I believe it would be very helpful if you could say a word to the President in support of this proposition. His active interest is of far more importance to us in getting results than that of men on the Hill.1
I am also sending you some other data, which may be of interest.
With warm regards,
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Baruch went to General Watson with a recommendation that the president restore to the budget “at least $4,000,000 with which to start” the Alaskan base. (Baruch to Watson, April 5, 1940, Princeton/B. M. Baruch Papers [Selected Correspondence].) The war Department appropriation for 1941 (signed on June 13, 1940), included $12,104,060 for the construction of the air base.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 188-189.