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To Brigadier General Lesley J. McNair
April 19, 1939 [Washington, D.C.]
I have been considering the invitation in your letter of April 15th since its receipt day before yesterday.1 It would give me a great deal of pleasure to go out to Fort Leavenworth on June 20th for the purpose of talking things over with you, and if the price of admission is a talk to the Class, then I am very glad to accept. But I must state that the uncertainty of developments in the War Department at the present time makes me afraid to give any promises about movements of mine more than six hours in advance of the time set. I hope no complication will arise in June. Whether I will fly out or go out by rail will have to be decided later on.
I would like you to treat what follows as most confidential.
If possible, I wish that the fact of my acceptance might be kept confidential for the present; for, if the President should announce the new Chief of Staff in the meantime, then undoubtedly you should invite that officer to make the graduation talk, and there should not be the embarrassment of having had my name previously involved.
Despite these various exceptions, thank you very much for the compliment of the invitation.
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. McNair had written to ask Marshall to speak at the graduation of the current class of the Command and General Staff School on June 20.
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), p. 712.