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Letter to Charles E. Wilson, Secretary of Defense, on the Hoover Commission Recommendations.

March 22, 1956

[Released March 22, 1956. Dated March 20, 1956]

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I have read with much satisfaction your letter of March 14 and the accompanying comments of your Department on the recommendations contained in the Hoover Commission Report on the Business Organization of the Department of Defense. Because so large a proportion of the recommendations contained in the reports of the Hoover Commission are applicable to the Department of Defense, I have been eager to receive your report.

Manifestly, the task of giving full and careful consideration to the many detailed recommendations was in itself a substantial undertaking. It has been evident to me from our many conversations on this subject that the Department of Defense approached this task energetically, that the inquiry was carefully organized, and that all of the recommendations were being considered in a highly constructive spirit. I have no doubt that this study involved the most intensive self-scrutiny of the operations of the Department of Defense that has been undertaken in many years. The steps which you have taken thus far are most encouraging. They will assuredly be reflected in the improved operation and effectiveness of the Department of Defense. The process of self-analysis, however, is a never ending one. I am sure that further benefits from the work of the Hoover Commission will be realized.

Your report gives me special satisfaction because it permits me to acknowledge, on the basis of tangible accomplishment, the great debt which our Nation owes to Mr. Hoover and the many other distinguished citizens who were associated with him in this great undertaking. They developed a set of constructive recommendations that will be of lasting benefit to our country. All of those who worked with him and with Mr. Charles Hook, under whose leadership this thorough-going study of the Department of Defense was conducted, can take pride in a very notable accomplishment.

I hope that you will communicate to the Service Secretaries of your Department my great interest in the extensive program that you have worked out and my earnest desire that it be effectively implemented. In due course, I should like to review this program with you in the light of the major management goals to which the Hoover Commission addressed itself.



Note: Secretary Wilson's letter points out that 19 of the Hoover Commission reports affected the Department of Defense, containing in all some 332 separate recommendations, and that each was made the subject of careful study by the military departments and by the appropriate functional Assistant Secretaries of Defense before final consideration by the Secretary. Although in some instances the Department "felt it advisable to use different methods to attain the same goals," Mr. Wilson adds that "we concur entirely or substantially in 85 percent of the total 332 recommendations."

The text of Secretary Wilson's letter was released by the White House.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Charles E. Wilson, Secretary of Defense, on the Hoover Commission Recommendations. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233052

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