Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Letter to Secretary of the Interior McKay Establishing a Cabinet Committee on Minerals Policy.

October 26, 1953

My dear Mr. Secretary:

One of the essential problems before our country is the establishment of a national policy relating to the production and utilization of minerals and metals. The prudent use and development of domestic mineral resources, as well as assured access to necessary sources abroad, are indispensable to the operation of an active economy and a sound defense.

We must make sure, as Americans, that we have available mineral raw materials adequate to meet any contingency during the uncertain years ahead. Chronic shortages of many minerals and metals have plagued us during every emergency, and the strength to meet any new crisis in large measure will depend on our ability to obtain these materials in sufficient amounts. The problem is compounded, of course, by the ever growing requirements of an expanding economy.

As we look forward to the resolution of this problem, we now face depressed conditions within numerous metal mining districts, conditions that are a matter of grave national concern. The mining industry has contributed in large measure to our present state of preparedness through vigorous expansion of its facilities. Every effort should be made to preserve this newly added economic strength through policies that would be consistent with our other national and international policies.

To point the way to the solution of this wide range of problems, I am establishing a Cabinet Committee, whose task will be the preparation of recommendations for consideration by myself and the Cabinet. I am requesting you to serve as Chairman of the Committee. By copy of this letter, I am designating the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization to serve as the other members. I suggest that this Committee work in close cooperation with the Bureau of the Budget, the Department of the Treasury and such other departments and agencies of the Executive Branch, as well as private individuals and organizations, as are concerned with these matters.

A good deal of work has been done in recent years, both in and out of government, with respect to the minerals and metals field, including the inquiry by the President's Materials Policy Commission. I know that your Committee, in the course of its studies, will want to draw on this work.

As you know, the United States Tariff Commission was requested by resolutions of the Senate Finance Committee and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives to make an investigation of the lead and zinc industries and to set forth the facts relevant to the production, trade, consumption and importation into the United States of these commodities. The Committee requested that the Commission submit the results of its investigation on or before March thirty-first next. It would be extremely helpful if your study could be completed for consideration well before that date.



Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Secretary of the Interior McKay Establishing a Cabinet Committee on Minerals Policy. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232267

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