Franklin D. Roosevelt to Winston Churchill (September 5, 1941)

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SEPTEMBER 5, 1941

MOST SECRET

TO: AMEMBASSY
LONDON
FOR THE FORMER NAVAL PERSON FROM THE PRESIDENT
REPLYING TO YOUR 4014 OF SEPTEMBER 1 I AM SURE WE CAN HELP WITH YOUR PROJECT TO REINFORCE THE MIDDLE EAST ARMY.
AT ANY RATE I CAN NOW ASSURE YOU THAT WE CAN PROVIDE TRANSPORTS FOR 20,000 MEN. THESE SHIPS WILL BE UNITED STATES NAVY TRANSPORTS MANNED BY NAVY CREWS. OUR NEUTRALITY ACT PERMITS PUBLIC SHIPS OF THE NAVY TO GO TO ANY PORT.
MARITIME COMMISSION IS ARRANGING TO PLACE TEN OR TWELVE ADDITIONAL SHIPS IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC RUN BETWEEN AMERICAN PORTS AND GREAT BRITAIN SO THAT YOU COULD RELEASE TEN OR TWELVE OF YOUR CARGO SHIPS FOR CARRYING CARGO TO THE MIDDLE EAST.
STARK IS CONSULTING WITH LITTLE AND LAND WITH SALTER IN REFERENCE TO DETAILS.
I AM LOANING TO YOU OUR BEST TRANSPORT SHIPS. INCIDENTALLY I AM DELIGHTED THAT YOU ARE GOING TO REINFORCE THE MIDDLE EAST.
FOR YOUR PRIVATE AND VERY CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION I AM PLANNING TO MAKE A RADIO ADDRESS MONDAY NIGHT RELATIVE TO THE ATTACK ON OUR DESTROYER AND TO MAKE PERFECTLY CLEAR THE ACTION WE INTEND TO TAKE IN THE ATLANTIC.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).