740.0011 European War 1939/20647

Memorandum by President Roosevelt to the Secretary of State 10

I think that for the record it would be a rather ingenuous thing to do if you were to send a letter to the Committee on Foreign Affairs11 and the Committee on Foreign Relations12 telling them that for their information Hungary and Roumania and Bulgaria and Siam have all declared war on the United States, giving the date of the action of each country.13 Then I would merely add that this is sent for the information of the Committees only and that in your judgment no action is necessary, either by the Congress or by the Executive Branch of the Government!

F[ranklin] D. R[oosevelt]

P. S. If my boy Johnny were doing it he would add as a postscript “So What!”

  1. The President’s proposal contained in this memorandum had been advanced earlier in a telephone conversation between the President and Assistant Secretary of State Adolf A. Berle, Jr.; see memorandum by Mr. Berle, January 28, 1942, vol. i, p. 914.
  2. Of the House of Representatives.
  3. Of the Senate.
  4. Identical letters of this import were sent to the Committees on February 7, 1942 (not printed). Thailand declared war on the United States on January 25, 1942; for correspondence regarding the decision of the United States not to declare war on Thailand, see vol. i, pp. 913 ff.