Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter on Appropriations for Strategic War Materials.

February 13, 1940


I have the honor to submit herewith for the consideration of Congress a draft of a proposed provision pertaining to an item for the Treasury Department in the Budget for the fiscal year 1941, as follows:

To the text of the item "Strategic and Critical Materials, Procurement Division, Act of June 7, 1939," appearing on page 750 of the Budget, insert the following phase immediately following the amount of the estimate, $15,000,000:

"to be immediately available."

Since the Budget was transmitted to Congress, I have received a report from the Interdepartmental Committee on Strategic Materials which emphasizes the following considerations:

1. Commercial stocks in this country of many vital raw materials are now considerably below normal.

2. Prices of most of the desired items are more favorable at present than for some time past.

3. Difficulties in both supply and transportation, as well as higher prices, are likely to be encountered if the present war continues and increases in intensity.

4. In the event of unlimited warfare on sea and in the air, possession of a reserve of these essential supplies might prove of vital importance, not only in the national defense, but in strengthening the policy of neutrality.

5. The materials to be purchased can at any time be converted into cash, and in the event of an emergency they will be worth much more than their cost.

In view of these facts, and inasmuch as the appropriation provided for the present fiscal year will shortly be exhausted, I believe that it is in the national interest that the appropriation in the full amount recommended by me, namely $15,000,000, be made immediately available.


The President of the Senate, Washington, D. C.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter on Appropriations for Strategic War Materials. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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