Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter on Arming for Defense.

June 14, 1938

My dear Mr. O'Laughlin:

I congratulate you upon the completion by the Army and Navy Journal of seventy-five years of publication.

Now, even as in the stirring days when your paper was established, the Federal Government has the inescapable obligation laid upon it by the Constitution to "provide for the common defense." That means not only the development of adequate military forces but the vigorous use of our good offices in the promotion of world peace.

In pursuance of this constitutional duty, it has been our effort to place the Army and the Navy in a position to protect our territory and our vital interests. It has been our effort through treaties designed to remove trade barriers and irritations, through mediation, through disarmament negotiations, and through proper representations at critical moments, to lessen, and if possible, eliminate the factors that make for war.

None of the things we have done contemplates aggression. None goes beyond what is essential to set up proper safeguards against aggression. As others decrease their armaments we will gladly join them by reducing those which present world conditions force us to provide for our own protection.

Very sincerely yours,

Mr. John Callan O'Laughlin,

Army and Navy Journal,

Washington, D.C.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter on Arming for Defense. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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