Memorandum from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to President Roosevelt

Subject: Oil Reserves.

In the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we are faced with an insufficient supply of crude oil from indigenous production to meet the requirements of the Armed Services of the United States and essential civilian needs. These requirements under strict wartime control are somewhat less than actual peacetime needs have proved to be.

In the interest of national security, it is urged that steps be taken immediately to assure continued control of sufficient oil reserves to meet our country’s needs.

Accordingly, it is proposed that the Reconstruction Finance Corporation be directed to organize a corporation specifically for the purpose of acquiring proven foreign petroleum reserves. This would include the immediate acquisition of a controlling interest by the U.S. Government in Saudi Arabian oil concessions, with the provision that the corporation may acquire interests in other properties when so directed.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff recognize the tremendous importance of taking every necessary action to develop additional oil reserves within the continental limits of the United States, but feel that even should efforts to this end progress more favorably than present indications, the acquisition of proven reserves in other parts of the world is necessary and should not be delayed.

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
William D. Leahy

Admiral, U.S. Navy,
Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy