Letter to Committee Chairmen Transmitting Bill To Permit General Marshall To Serve as Secretary of Defense.
My dear Mr. Chairman:
Attached is a draft of legislation which would permit General George C. Marshall to serve as Secretary of Defense. I request that you lay this matter before your Committee with a view to obtaining early and favorable action by the Congress.
I am a firm believer in the general principle that our defense establishment should be headed by a civilian. However, in view of the present critical circumstances and of General Marshall's unusual qualifications, I believe that the national interest will be served best by making an exception in this Case. I am sending a similar letter to--
HARRY S. TRUMAN
Note: This is the text of identical letters sent to the Honorable Millard E. Tydings, Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee, and to the Honorable Carl Vinson, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee.
On September 18 the President approved a bill authorizing him "to appoint General of the Army George C. Marshall to the office of Secretary of Defense" (64 Stat. 853). The bill contained a provision that "the authority granted by this Act is not to be construed as approval by the Congress of continuing appointments of military men to the office of Secretary of Defense in the future."
The Senate confirmed General Marshall as Secretary of Defense on September 20, and he took the oath of office on the following day.
Harry S Truman, Letter to Committee Chairmen Transmitting Bill To Permit General Marshall To Serve as Secretary of Defense. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230237