811.24 Raw Materials/717

President Roosevelt to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: Reference is made to your letter of January 15, 1940, enclosing a statement by the Interdepartmental Committee on Strategic Materials, recommending the earliest possible procurement of minimum reserve stocks of materials essential to American industry and national defense, which would be most difficult to procure from abroad in the event that the war in Europe is intensified or extended.

After most careful consideration of all the financial needs confronting us, particularly those of national defense, I felt that $15,000,000 would permit reasonable progress during the next year in building up our stocks of these essential materials and that we could hardly afford a heavier immediate expenditure for this purpose. Accordingly, I recommended an appropriation in this amount in the 1941 Budget.

The 1941 Treasury Department Appropriation Bill, as reported by the House Appropriations Committee and as passed by the House, reduced the amount for strategic materials to $12,500,000, thus indicating an unwillingness to proceed even as rapidly as the original Budget estimate would permit. However, under date of February 14, 1940, I addressed a communication to the President of the Senate requesting that the amount of $15,000,000, originally recommended by me, be restored to the bill and that this sum be made immediately available.4

Sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Roosevelt
  1. However, the Appropriation Act for the Treasury Department approved March 25, 1940, provided $12,500,000 for strategic and critical materials, of which amount only $3,000,000 was to be immediately available; 54 Stat. 55, 70.