The Secretary of the Interior (Ickes) to the Secretary of State 2

My Dear Mr. Secretary: On June 5, 1943, I wrote a letter to the President, a copy of which I enclose,3 in which I suggested the advisability of laying the ground work for availing ourselves of the natural resources in the Continental Shelf extending from our shores. I recommended that this Department, in collaboration with the Departments of State and Justice, and the National Resources Planning Board, now study the many aspects of such an undertaking and submit their findings and conclusions to the President.

The President has sent me a memorandum dated May 11, which reads as follows: “This is approved except that we must remember that the National Resources Planning Board has met an untimely death.4 Go ahead with State and Justice.”

At your earliest convenience, I would like to discuss the matter with you or whomever you may wish to designate, with a view toward initiating a study of the international problems involved.

Sincerely yours,

Harold L. Ickes
  1. Copy obtained from the files of the Department of the Interior.
  2. Ante, p. 1481.
  3. The National Resources Planning Board, established on July 1, 1939, was abolished on August 31, 1943; Federal Records of World War II, vol. i: Civilian Agencies (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1950), pp. 96–97.