Herbert Hoover photo

Statement on Navy Day.

October 27, 1931

NAVY DAY offers a special opportunity for national consideration of our defense and an opportunity to express national appreciation to the body of men who give so high a service to the Nation.

The first necessity of our Government is the maintenance of a navy so efficient and strong that, in conjunction with our army, no enemy may ever invade our country. The commanding officers of our forces inform me that we are maintaining that strength and efficiency.

Ours is a force of defense, not offense. To maintain forces less than that strength is to destroy national safety; to maintain greater forces is not only economic injury to our people but a threat against our neighbors and would be righteous cause for ill will amongst them. Our problem is to assure the adjustment of our forces to the minimum based upon the outlook in the world; to strive for lower armament throughout the whole world; to promote good will among nations; to conduct our military activities with rigid economy; to prevent extremists on one side from undermining the public will to support our necessary forces, and to prevent extremists on the other side from waste of public funds.

We are fortunate in having a navy with long, high-spirited tradition. It possesses a personnel of officers and men who have never been excelled in our whole history. The Nation has reason for confidence in their ability.

Herbert Hoover, Statement on Navy Day. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/206685

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