Letters Regarding the Perpetuation Peace and Friendship with Canada.
My dear Mr. Secretary:
My attention has been called to "Hearings before Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives, on H.R. 6621 and H.R. 4130." It is a matter of regret to me that I have been compelled to send a letter to Chairman McSwain of the Military Affairs Committee, copy of which I enclose.
Hon. George H. Dern,
Secretary of War,
My dear Mr. Chairman:
My attention has been called to "Hearings before Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives, on H.R. 6621 and H.R. 4130." This public document includes apparently a full report of an executive session of the Committee of which you are Chairman.
It is necessary for me most respectfully to call to your attention and that of your Committee the fact that if the testimony in executive session is printed in public documents in the same way as testimony in open session, I shall find it necessary as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy to require that in the future such testimony be given only after approval by me.
Referring to page 16 of this printed document, I desire to inform your Committee that certain portions of the testimony of General Kilbourne, especially those relating to the Canadian border, do not represent either the policy of this Administration or that of the Commander-in-Chief.
In the statement of General F. M. Andrews, many portions of said statement, especially those relating to the territory of friendly Nations, in Canada, in the Atlantic and in the West Indies, do not represent the policy of the Administration or of the Commander-in-Chief.
I can go further and state that they do not reflect the views, purposes or motives of the United States Government. This Government does not in any of its plans or policies envisage the possibility of a change in the friendly relationship between the United States and any foreign country.
I call your especial attention to the fact that this Government not only accepts as an accomplished fact the permanent peace conditions cemented by many generations of friendship between the Canadian and American people, but expects to live up to not only the letter, but also the spirit of our treaties relating to the permanent disarmament of our three thousand miles of common boundary.
Hon. John J. McSwain,
Chairman, Military Affairs Committee,
House of Representatives,
Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr. President:
I am in entire accord with the letter dispatched by you on April 29th to the Chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee. In all fairness to the officers concerned, it was their understanding that the testimony was entirely secret and was not to be made public under any circumstances. I am sure they would not have expressed themselves so freely had they not had such an assurance of the situation. It is needless to say that their views on the points you mention were individual and had not been submitted to either the Chief of Staff or the Secretary of War. Their opinions thereon can be regarded only as personal ones. I was myself considering taking similar action to the one so ably presented in your letter to the Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee, and I, therefore, cannot tell you how grateful I am that you anticipated me in this respect.
Geo. H. Dern,
Secretary of War.
The White House
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letters Regarding the Perpetuation Peace and Friendship with Canada. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208621