President Franklin D. Roosevelt Adjudicates an Intergovernmental Turf War

January 23, 1940

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President Franklin D. Roosevelt Adjudicates an Intergovernmental Turf War
Typed Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 1372

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      Background

      Smack at the hub of various intergovernmental relationships, the National Resources Board - created in 1935 by Roosevelt to prepare and plan programs dealing with “the physical, social, governmental, and economic aspects of public policies for the development and use of land, water, and other national resources” - was exactly the sort of agency to be involved in turf wars. Here it takes the President of the United States, instructing his Secretary of War, to bring peace to the Board, and the Army Corps of Engineers, as the two bureaucracies battled for money:
       
      I hear from several sources on the Hill that the principal reason for opposition in the Congress to an appropriation for the continuance of the National Resources Board is that the Army Engineer Corps has been actively lobbying against the Board. As you know, there has never been the slightest conflict between the Army engineers and the National Resources Board, and I suggest, therefore, that the Chief of Engineers should in some way go on record in writing, to you, that neither the Chief of Engineers nor any member of the Corps has the slightest objection to the continuance of the National Resources Board; and, further, that there has never been nor will be any possible conflict between the two organizations.

      The National Resources Board was abolished in 1943 but the Army Corps of Engineers, created in 1779, still soldiers on.


      Typed Note Signed (with initials), as President, being a Memorandum; 1 page, octavo, Washington, The White House, January 23, 1940. The Secretary of War Harry H. Woodring.
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      THE WHITE HOUSE
      WASHINGTON

      January 23, 1940.

      MEMORANDUM FOR
      THE SECRETARY OF WAR

      I hear from several sources on the Hill that the principal reason for opposition in the Congress to an appropriation for the continuance of the National Resources Board is that the Army Engineer Corps has been actively lobbying against the Board.

      As you know, there has never been the slightest conflict between the Army Engineers and the National Resources Board, and I suggest, therefore, that the Chief of Engineers should in some way go on record in writing, to you, that neither the Chief of Engineers nor any member of the Corps has the slightest objection to the continuance of the National Resources Board; and, further, that there has never been nor will there be any possible conflict between the two organizations.

      F. D. R.

      FDR