Letter to the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization, on Federal Activities in the Flood Disaster Areas.
Dear Mr. Wilson:
I am deeply concerned with the seriousness of the flood damage throughout the Middle West. Approximately two million acres of farm land in an area extending one thousand miles in length have been inundated. A critical national transportation bottleneck has been created, and industrial activities of great significance to the defense effort have been brought to a standstill. The total personal, industrial, and agricultural damage is presently estimated at well over a billion dollars.
Our first concern must be for the people in that area, who have been subjected to untold hardship and tragic losses. To alleviate their suffering the Congress has acted expeditiously in providing emergency funds. As you know, I have designated the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency to take leadership in coordinating the activities of the Federal Government under the provisions of the Disaster Relief Act. Under his supervision, action is being taken to provide immediate relief and assistance to supplement the efforts of State and local governments.
This disaster has had serious effects upon the economy of the Nation and on the mobilization program. The economic life of the stricken area must be restored without delay. Agricultural, industrial, transportation and other facilities damaged or destroyed by the flood must be put back into operation.
In addition to the immediate assistance now being provided under the Disaster Relief Act, I am requesting you to direct and coordinate the activities of the Federal Departments and agencies toward the restoration of the general economy of the area. In employing the available powers and resources of the Federal Government you should give consideration, among other things, to the allocation of materials and facilities including transportation, to the extension of financial assistance and to the adjustment of stabilization measures. In carrying out this task you and the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency will, of course, work closely together and will have the full cooperation of those departments and agencies which can be of aid.
I am sending copies of this letter to the Secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor, the Administrator of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency.
Very sincerely yours,
HARRY S. TRUMAN
[Honorable Charles E. Wilson, Director, Office of Defense Mobilization, Washington 25, D.C.]
Note: See also Items 158 and 162.
Harry S. Truman, Letter to the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization, on Federal Activities in the Flood Disaster Areas. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230436