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To Rufus C. Holman
January 18, 1939 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Senator Holman:
I have just received your note of January sixteenth, with the copies of letters from Judge Kanzler and Muthersbaugh of the Portland Chamber of Commerce regarding Vancouver Barracks.1 I will probably see you this afternoon when I accompany General Craig to a hearing of the Military Committee of the Senate, but in any event I will get in touch with you regarding the details of this matter as soon as they come up. I might say now, without having seen their proposed plans, that it all is a matter of priorities—that is, which post needs the buildings most; and in view of the present defense program of the President, I fear that all the money for shelter will go for new Air Corps installations and those required for anti-aircraft and seacoast defenses in Panama. Certainly the War Department will, under the terms of the President’s program, have to give first priority to those matters. However, I can talk this over with you when I see you and when I know more of the details of the plot.
I might say that I have the deepest interest in the development of Vancouver Barracks. When I went there, I found a garrison which had not had a new building provided by the Government for thirty-three years, and before I left we had gotten an appropriation for sixteen non-commissioned officers’ quarters, and about three hundred thousand dollars in WPA money. With the latter fund I reconditioned the post and got it in excellent shape, with many improvements to boost morale. The completion of these non-commissioned officers’ quarters will, of course be important assistance to that effect.2
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. A native of Portland, Holman was the newly elected Republican senator from Oregon and a member of the Senate Military Affairs committee. Holman’s letter to Marshall of January 16 inclosed copies of letters from Phil H. Muthersbaugh, secretary of the Portland Chamber of Commerce’s Council of National Defense, and Judge Jacob Kanzler of the circuit Court of Oregon.
2. On January 24, Marshall sent a confidential letter by special messenger to Senator Holman inclosing “drafts of letters or statements regarding various matters we talked about the other day: A letter to the Secretary of war urging further construction at Vancouver Barracks A letter to General George White [Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-549 (1: 686-7)]. . . . A statement regarding the military advantages of the development of the new municipal airport on the Columbia [River] near Portland. . . . An outline of the existing defenses at the mouth of the Columbia, together with a statement of the provisions, under the “Five-year Project”, for the further development of these defenses." (Marshall to Holman, January 24, 1939, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
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. 685-686.