Memorandum by the Secretary of State for President Roosevelt 78

I enclose a memorandum79 by Mr. Hackworth, approved by Judge Townsend of the Department of Justice, relating to the sale of vessels of war and auxiliary vessels. You will find on page 3 of this memorandum a proposed draft80 of a bill to be offered in Congress.

I had a long talk with William Allen White over the telephone yesterday afternoon, in which I got before him to a fairly satisfactory extent the important points relating to danger to this country and to this hemisphere. He said repeatedly that he appreciated the benefit of this; second, that Mr. Willkie agrees in principle on these and other methods of aiding Great Britain; third, that he would desire to see the proposed draft for Congress before approving it; and, fourth, Mr. White said that he had not conferred with Mr. Willkie about the attitude of McNary and Joe Martin towards the bill, but that he would take this up with him.

William Allen White telegraphs me today that he will be glad to get a copy of the bill right away. We in the office will wait tomorrow until you receive this proposed draft and telephone us your approval before sending it to White.

I enclose a copy of a statement81 I am giving to the press today for publication in Tuesday afternoon papers. I hope you will see that it does not seep out in any way to the public.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Photostatic copy obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N. Y.
  2. Supra.
  3. Paragraph beginning “Nothing contained in Section 33 …”, p. 60.
  4. Department of State Bulletin, August 10, 1940, p. 103.