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Letter to Senator Wherry Concerning the Moratorium on Reclamation Projects and Other Federal Construction.

May 16, 1947

Dear Senator Wherry:

This refers to your letter dated May 2, 1947, requesting certain information concerning the 60-day moratorium and the expenditure ceilings which were placed on Reclamation projects and other Federal construction.

As you know, the moratorium and the expenditure ceilings did not provide for the cancellation of any projects authorized by the Congress. They were designed, rather, to guide the timing of construction and, as such, were an important aid to reconversion. The program was clearly authorized by Section 101(c) of the War Mobilization and Reconversion Act of 1944 which, among other things, authorizes the Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion, subject to the direction of the President, to formulate plans to meet the problems of reconversion and to require executive agencies to exercise their powers in a manner consistent with such plans; and such program was within the well-recognized authority of the President, acting directly or through the Bureau of the Budget, to exercise general supervision over the expenditures of the executive departments, in discharging his duties as Chief Executive and his responsibility for the proper execution of the laws.

The correct figures for current expenditure ceilings for the Bureau of Reclamation are set forth in your letter, namely, $130 million for the construction program for fiscal year 1947 and $177.4 million for expenditures for all purposes during the fiscal year 1948. The expenditure ceiling for fiscal year 1947 will, of course, terminate June 30, 1947, with the close of the current fiscal year. Any upward revision of the 1947 ceiling at this time would not result in expenditures in excess of the existing limitations for this fiscal year because of the lag inherent in heavy construction and the short time remaining in this fiscal year.

The limitation of $177.4 million for expenditures during fiscal year 1948 is the total included as an estimate of expenditures in the President's Budget and is based on the assumptions of that Budget, that is, that the carry-Dyers from fiscal year 1947 would agree with the estimates made for the Budget, and that the appropriations made by Congress for fiscal year 1948 would agree with the requests in the Budget. It is not possible to make a re-evaluation of these figures until it is known what sums Congress will appropriate for the agency.

I may add that at this time it is not anticipated that it will be necessary or desirable to place restrictions on the expenditure of funds available for fiscal year 1948.

Very sincerely yours,


[The Honorable Kenneth S. Wherry, United States Senate]

Harry S Truman, Letter to Senator Wherry Concerning the Moratorium on Reclamation Projects and Other Federal Construction. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232225

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