810.20 Defense/60¾

The Under Secretary of State (Welles) to President Roosevelt

Dear Mr. President: As Chairman of the Liaison Committee, and with the full concurrence of the other members, Admiral Stark and General Marshall,32 I suggest that the sum of $500,000 in cash, be provided for the War Department, and $300,000 in cash, be provided for the Navy Department, for use in the further development, under your direction, of our efforts towards hemisphere defense in cooperation with other American countries.

Our military and naval forces should have the intelligent cooperation of the armed forces of other American Republics on a basis of intimate accord. The desired cooperation requires that the armed forces of other American Republics should not only be trained in our methods and understand our plans and points of view, but their officers should be brought into intimate contact with our officers. Many of the smaller countries in South America cannot afford to bear the expense of military and naval missions from this country, nor can they afford to send their officers for instruction in this country. The officers themselves, cannot afford to come here for training because of the inadequacy of their pay to meet our higher cost of living.

If the money requested above is provided, it will be used to bear the expense of missions to countries which otherwise could not have the benefit of their services, to train personnel of their armed forces in conjunction with our own in the United States or Panama or with our Fleet, to pay the transportation of such personnel and to grant them money allowances, when necessary, and also for use of military [Page 19]and naval Intelligence to counteract or offset where possible the activities of the totalitarian governments. Action looking to the last named objective might well involve matters beyond the mere entertainment of higher officials, both military and civil, of other American Republics.

There will undoubtedly be situations not now foreseen which should be met by the immediate expenditure of funds not provided in regular appropriations. Our vital interests in this hemisphere make it appear important that at this time the War and Navy Departments have discretionary funds available.

I am advised that the emergency funds provided for you in the military and naval appropriation acts for the fiscal year 1941 are legally available for the purposes stated above, although your message to Congress did not mention such purposes.

Respectfully yours,

Sumner Welles
  1. Following notations appear at end of letter:

    “I recommend this action. G. C. Marshall.”

    “I concur H. R. Stark.”