Present: Messrs. Ralph H. Gabriel, Carl Stephenson, Solon J. Buck, Guy
Stanton Ford, members of the Executive Committee; Mr. Waldo G. Leland of the American
Council of Learned Societies; Messrs. Theodore C. Blegen and Thomas K. Ford of
the Historical Service Board; and Major General Frederick H. Osborn, Director
of the Morale Services Division, Army Service Forces, War Department.
the absence of Professor Arthur M. Schlesinger, chairman of the Executive Committee,
Mr. Ford acted as temporary chairman. Mr. Ford opened the meeting with a reference
to the letter from Major Haycraft stating that the War Department desired to renew
the contract of the Historical Service Board. The conference was called primarily
to consider the renewal as the present contract expires June 30, 1944. Mr. Ford
then introduced General Osborn, for whose division the Historical Service Board
prepares its manuscripts.
General Osborn explained the part that the work
of the Board plays in the whole educational and morale-building program of the
Army the purpose of which is to increase the effectiveness of the soldiers and
officers as fighters during the war and as citizens after the war. The difficulties
and delays met with by the Board, General Osborn continued, were part of the difficulties
and delays of getting the whole immense program set up and functioning properly.
He felt that great progress was now being made, however, in moving toward publication
the manuscripts prepared by the Board. He also expressed in most cordial terms
his appreciation of the material prepared by the Board.
Mr. Blegen then
made his report as Director of the Historical Service Board. He told how the Board
has planned' and maintained a production schedule averaging three manuscripts
a month for the War Department since December 1943 and listed the tentative manuscripts
planned to keep up this schedule through September 1944. He described some of
the problems that the Board has met, largely those concerned with the lapse of
time between the completion of a manuscript and its publication by the War Department.
He added, however, that many of these problems seem to have been ironed out by
the War Department in the past month. In planning a future budget, Mr. Blegen
pointed out that a larger sum would be needed than before because of the fact
that the cost of illustrations, originally thought to be covered by the War Department,
is being paid from the Board's allotment. Mr. Blegen announced his own resignation
from the Directorship, effective August 31, 1944.
Mr. Buck then moved that
the Executive Committee authorize the Executive Secretary to renew the contract
and to enter into negotiations for the continued administration of the Historical
Service Board, reporting back his recommendations to the Executive Committee.
Professor Stephenson seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.
Executive Secretary then took the opportunity to present other matters requiring
the attention of the Executive Committee.