Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Concerning Creation of a Department of National Defense.
In the State of the Union Message of January 6, 1947, I stated that I would communicate with the Congress in the near future with reference to the establishment of a single department of national defense.
For many months the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy have been endeavoring to settle the differences existing between the services on this question.
I am gratified to advise that success has crowned their efforts and the armed services have reached an agreement on a plan of unification. I enclose herewith copy of a letter, signed by the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy under date of January 16, 1947, containing the basic elements of this agreement. I enclose also copy of my reply to them on the same date.
In addition I submit a copy of a proposed executive order, agreed upon by the services, which presents the functions of the armed forces. It is contemplated that this order would be issued after the passage of appropriate legislation by the Congress upon this subject.
Representatives of my office and of the armed services are engaged in drafting a bill to be submitted to the Congress for its consideration. These men, of course, are available to you at any time for consultation.
Very sincerely yours,
HARRY S. TRUMAN
Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Arthur H. Vandenberg, President pro tempore of the Senate, and to the Honorable Joseph W. Martin, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives.
For the Secretaries' joint letter of January 16 and the President's reply of that date see Item
On July 26 the President approved the National Security Act of 1947 creating a National Military Establishment (61 Stat. 495). On the same date he issued Executive Order 9877 "Functions of the Armed Forces" (Item 159, below).
Harry S Truman, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Concerning Creation of a Department of National Defense. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231927