Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter to Bernard M. Baruch Requesting a Survey of the Rubber Situation.

August 06, 1942

Dear Mr. Baruch:I have just vetoed the bill passed by the Congress setting up a new agency for the purpose of producing a supply of rubber and alcohol for military and civilian needs for the United States. For your information, I am enclosing a copy of my veto message.

As you will note therein, I believe it to be highly important that a small committee of distinguished and disinterested citizens be appointed for the purpose of making a quick but adequate survey of the entire rubber question. This would include not only facts with respect to existing supplies and estimates as to future needs, but also the question of the best method to be followed for obtaining an adequate supply of rubber for our military and essential civilian requirements. This, of course, involves a consideration of how large a quantity of critical materials needed for other war purposes can and should be used for the construction of plants for the manufacture of synthetic rubber.

I am asking to serve on this committee, yourself as Chairman, Dr. James B. Conant, President of Harvard University and Dr. Karl T. Compton, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

You will be equipped with the necessary technical staff, and I hope that your report will be made as quickly as possible. In the meantime, of course, the War Production Board will proceed with the manufacture of synthetic rubber.

In short, the purpose of your survey and investigation is to recommend such action as will best produce the synthetic rubber necessary for our total war effort, including essential civilian use, with a minimum interference with the production of other weapons of war. I trust I may have your acceptance of this most important public trust, although I am, of course, aware of the other public demands being made upon your time and energy. With kindest personal regards,

Very sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to Bernard M. Baruch Requesting a Survey of the Rubber Situation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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