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Letter Accepting Resignation of Robert P. Patterson as Secretary of War.

July 18, 1947

Dear Bob:

Your letter of this date leaves me no choice but to accept your resignation as Secretary of War, effective at the dose of business July twenty-fourth. Never have I accepted a resignation from the Government service with more poignant regret. I yield to your desire only because I can no longer in good conscience ask you to stay on.

It is hard for me to find the proper words with which to describe the character of your service to our country. It has been magnificent. It has been utterly selfless. I saw a great deal of your work when I was head of the Senate Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program and you were Under Secretary of War. You then had charge of the procurement of supplies for our Army. How well you acquitted yourself in that vital task is attested by the results. When Secretary Stimson resigned I was comfortable in the knowledge that the administration of the War Department would be carried on with the same zeal and efficiency that he had demonstrated. Again, the results prove the truth of this conviction.

I want to add, Bob, that I value, more than words can tell, the friendship that has grown up between us. The official loss of your services is also to me a deep personal loss.

I want to feel free to call on you from time to time for counsel.

With every good wish, believe me, as always

Very sincerely yours,


[The Honorable Robert P. Patterson, Secretary of War, Washington 25, D.C.]

Note: Mr. Patterson served as Under Secretary from December 19, 1940, to September 26, 1945, and as Secretary through July 24, 1947. His letter of resignation, dated July 18, was released with the President's reply.

Harry S Truman, Letter Accepting Resignation of Robert P. Patterson as Secretary of War. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232083

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