Letter Recommending an Increase in the Credit Fund.
My dear Mr. President:
Last month when the Republic of Finland paid the regular installment on her debt to the United States, I directed the Secretary of the Treasury to place the money in a separate account pending such action, if any, as the Congress might desire to take with respect to it.
There is without doubt in the United States a great desire for some action to assist Finland to finance the purchase of agricultural surpluses and manufactured products, not including implements of war. There is at the same time undoubted opposition to the creation of precedents which might lead to large credits to nations in Europe, either belligerents or neutrals. No one desires a return to such a status.
The facts in regard to Finland are just as fully in the possession of every Member of the Congress as they are in the Executive Branch of the Government. There is no hidden information; and the matter of credits to that Republic is wholly within the jurisdiction of the Congress.
This Government will have early occasion to consider a number of applications for loans to citizens and small countries abroad, especially in Scandinavia and South America. That raises the question for the determination of the Congress as to whether my recommendation, made to the Congress some months ago, for enlarging the revolving fund in a relatively small sum, for relatively small loans, should be considered. It goes without saying that if the applications for loans can be acted upon favorably by the Congress, this matter will be kept within the realm of our neutrality laws and our neutrality policies.
An extension of credit at this time does not in any way constitute or threaten any so-called "involvement" in European wars. That much can be taken for granted.
It seems to me that the most reasonable approach would be action by the Congress authorizing an increase in the revolving credit fund of the Export-Import Bank and authorizing the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to purchase loans and securities from the Export-Import Bank to enable it to finance exportation of agricultural surpluses and manufactured products, not including implements of war.
It is wholly within the discretion of the Congress to place a ceiling on the amount of such loans. Whether this legislation should include an additional increase in the revolving credit fund of the Export-Import Bank, in order to provide for additional loans to increase our trade with South and Central America, is also within the discretion of the Congress.
Very sincerely yours,
Honorable John N. Garner,
President of the Senate of the United States,
Washington, D. C.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter Recommending an Increase in the Credit Fund. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/209873