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Letter of Senator John F. Kennedy to Gerald C. Mann on Oil Depletion Allowance

October 13, 1960


Washington, DC, OCTOBER 13, 1960


Director, Kennedy-Johnson Texas Democratic Campaign

Austin, TX

DEAR MR. MANN: In answer to your inquiry regarding my position on the oil-depletion allowance, please be advised as follows:

I have consistently, throughout this campaign, made clear my recognition of the value and importance of the oil-depletion allowance. I realize its purpose and value are to provide a rate of exploration, development, and production adequate to our national security and the requirements of our economy. It is primarily a matter of resources policy. This is true not only of oil, but as a matter of natural resources generally.

The oil-depletion allowance has served us well by this test. At the present time, with exploration and development declining, it is essential that there be a careful review of this entire problem to insure that policy regarding depletion is adequate to safeguard our future energy needs. Such a review must be based on the categorical proposition that a healthy domestic oil industry is essential to national security.

For this reason, I believe we must have a new and comprehensive study of U.S. materials requirements and policies for the decade ahead, as called for in the Democratic platform. The last such study, the Paley Commission report of 1950, is long out of date and it is vitally important that we conduct a new inventory for the new conditions of the 1960's and the critical problems we face in this decade. Any reassessment of depletion policy, whether it involves maintaining, increasing, or lowering any of the present percentage allowances on raw materials, should wait on and be decided on the basis of our resource requirements, as determined by this materials policy study. As President, I would initiate such a study as a first order of national business.

With kindest personal regards.

Sincerely yours,


John F. Kennedy, Letter of Senator John F. Kennedy to Gerald C. Mann on Oil Depletion Allowance Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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