Franklin D. Roosevelt to Winston Churchill (December 10, 1941)
THE WHITE HOUSE
December 10, 1941.
FOR FORMER NAVAL PERSON FROM THE PRESIDENT
I know you will understand why it is impossible for me to leave Washington until January sixth. We are in the throes of mobilization and the preparations for the new Congress.
The production and allocation problems are being worked out with complete understanding and accord. Because of the naval situation, Hawaii and West Coast, we shall have to use allotted planes for about three weeks but expect to resume regular schedule of shipments to you and Russia by January first. Practically all other Lend Lease articles are continuing to be shipped.
I wholly agree about the gravity of naval position especially in Pacific. We are both of us reduced to defensive fighting in Pacific Islands and Malaya. At this moment you cannot help us there and we cannot help you except with very small American naval forces now retiring southward from Philippines. Only small reinforcements on both sides can be sent to that area immediately. My first impression is that full discussion would be more useful a few weeks hence than immediately,
However, I will wholeheartedly and gladly accept your opinion on timing. Overjoyed to have you here at White House. If you come, give consideration Canadian route, Bermuda route with plane from there, or sea route all the way.
I know you will disregard anything I may say to you about the personal risk but I want you to remember that it is essential for Empire and us that you stay at the helm.
There are a number of things relating to joint operations that we will be discussing over the radio with you very soon.
F. D. R.