711.00111 Armament Control/39b

The Secretary of State to President Roosevelt 5

My Dear Mr. President: As it seems possible that hostilities may break out between Ethiopia and Italy during your absence from Washington, I have thought it best to have prepared, for your consideration, a draft of a proclamation drawn up pursuant to the terms of Section 1 of the Joint Resolution of Congress, which you approved on August 31, 1935. I venture to suggest that you may wish to take this draft of a proclamation with you in order that no time may be lost should the situation envisaged in Section 1 of the Joint Resolution arise during your absence. Although you are not obliged, under the terms of the Joint Resolution to proclaim immediately upon the outbreak of hostilities an embargo on arms destined to the belligerents, I presume that nevertheless you will wish to do so without delay. Should the occasion for issuing this proclamation arise during your absence, I shall communicate with you by telegraph. The enumeration of arms, ammunition, and implements of war which is proposed has been carefully prepared by officers of the Department in consultation with officers of the Department of the Treasury, the War Department, the Navy Department, and the Department of Commerce. It is identical with the enumeration contained in the Proclamation which the National Munitions Control Board has recommended,6 pursuant to Section 2 of the Joint Resolution and I believe that it is a satisfactory list both from the technical point of view and from the point of view of efficient administration of the embargo.

Faithfully yours,

[File copy not signed.]
  1. An attached memorandum by Joseph C. Green, of the Division of Western European Affairs, states: “September 26, 1935. This letter was not signed. The Secretary took it with him to the White House on September 25 and discussed the matter verbally with the President, who signed the Proclamation referred to without dating it, and handed the signed Proclamation to the Secretary to be retained in the Department for use in case the occasion should arise during the President’s absence. Joseph C. Green.”
  2. See proclamation of September 25, 1935, regarding enumeration of arms, ammunition, and implements of war, 49 Stat. 3471.