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Letter to the Speaker Regarding Additional Appropriations for the National Security Program.

April 01, 1948


In my address to the Congress on March 17, 1948, I stated that we need an adequate and balanced military strength to carry out our purpose of achieving peace in the world. To accomplish this objective, a limited increase in our national security program is required.

As one element in building up our strength to the necessary level, I am transmitting herewith for the consideration of the Congress a draft of a proposed provision for a contract authorization of $375,000,000 for the Treasury Department, in the form of an amendment to the Budget for the fiscal year 1949. This contract authorization is required to permit the Bureau of Federal Supply to enter into long-term contracts for strategic and critical materials so as to increase the supply available for stockpiling and other essential needs.

The details of this proposed provision, the necessity therefor, and the reason for its submission at this time are set forth in the letter of the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, transmitted herewith, in whose comments and observations thereon I concur.

In addition, I have authorized the Secretary of Defense to prepare detailed estimates for additional appropriations totaling $3,000,000,000 for the Military Establishment for the fiscal year 1949. While almost every part of our military program will be affected by the proposed increase, the additions may be grouped in five categories:

First, $775,000,000 for the requirements for added military personnel, such as pay and allowances, subsistence, clothing, and medical care.

Second, $775,000,000 for the procurement of aircraft, aircraft components, and aviation research and development. This amount includes $465,000,000 for the Air Force and $310,000,000 for naval aviation.

Third, $860,000,000 for maintenance and operation of facilities and equipment, including their rehabilitation and reactivation where necessary.

Fourth, $500,000,000 for procurement and production programs, including procurement planning, prototype and pilot orders, equipment modernization and materiel improvement.

Fifth, $90,000,000 for other requirements, such as research and development (other than air), civilian components, and administrative and contingent expenses.

Expenditures under these appropriations in the fiscal year 1949 are estimated at $1,700,000,000.

Detailed appropriation requests for these additional amounts are in preparation by the National Military Establishment and will soon be submitted to the Congress. The need for other appropriations for related national security purposes is now under consideration, and estimates for these appropriations will be submitted to the Congress if necessary.

The proposed appropriations are intended to round out and balance our national security program. They are necessary to enable us to meet our international responsibilities.

It is my earnest hope that on the solid foundation of our foreign aid programs and a limited increase in our present military strength, we can achieve a substantial lessening of present international tension and move forward toward our goal of securing a just and lasting peace.

Respectfully yours,


[The Speaker of the House of Representatives]

Note: The draft provision for a contract authorization and the letter from the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, transmitted with the President's letter, are printed in House Document 588 (Both Cong., 2d sess.).

On June 25, 1948, the President approved a bill which included an appropriation to enable the Bureau of Federal Supply to enter into contracts under the Strategic and Critical Materials Stock Piling Act (62 Stat. 1047).

Harry S Truman, Letter to the Speaker Regarding Additional Appropriations for the National Security Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232541

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