Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941

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Author: Franklin D. Roosevelt  | Date: March 17, 1941

28 Transmittal to Congress of a National Resources Planning Board Report.
March 17, 1941

To the Congress:

National defense is more than a mobilization of a Nation’s armed strength. Equally must we focus public thought on the ideals and objectives of our national life. We must seek wider understanding of the possibilities for that future we prepare to defend.

Among those possibilities are the larger use, the conservation and development of the Nation’s resources. I have from time to time during the past eight years called to the attention of the Congress these possibilities; and during these years several laws have been enacted to promote the orderly development and prudent husbandry of our national resources, human as well as material.

The National Resources Planning Board has now completed its report, which I send you herewith, on "The Development of Resources and the Stabilization of Employment in the United States." This is the first of a series of such reports which each year I shall transmit to the Congress shortly after submission of the Budget of the United States.

The Budget contains the recommendations of the Chief Executive for the financial outlays to carry on a public works program during the next fiscal year. This report places these recommendations within the framework of a long-range policy of intelligent planning for the future. It contains a six-year program of public construction and a statement of related future policies and plans of the Federal Government.

Under the terms of Reorganization Plan No. 1, effective July 1, 1939, I have, by a series of Executive Orders, given to the National Resources Planning Board responsibility for correlating the six-year public works programs of those agencies which plan or undertake construction directly for the Federal Government and those which indirectly participate in construction by means of loans, grants, or other financial aid. The Board is also aiding cities and States to prepare similar programs or capital budgets so as to develop a full and coordinated program of national development.

The Board can thus help to iron out conflicts among the plans of different agencies, and to present for consideration by the Congress a program which expresses local, State, regional, and national aspirations for a progressive development of our resources and for stabilization of employment.

This six-year program lists the Budget estimates for the coming fiscal year and summarizes a developing program for the ensuing five years. If projects are to be ready at hand for rapid inauguration in times of need, the surveys and investigations, the engineering plans and specifications must be prepared in advance. Authorizations and financial arrangements must be already agreed upon.

The planning revolving fund, suggested in the Board’s report, would make available a shelf of useful projects without in any way committing the Government to the immediate construction of such works. Because of the current national emergency, projects not needed for defense have been temporarily deferred. As a result, we are now in the process of storing up a reservoir of nondefense public work which can be loosed when the pace of rearmament slackens.
The report of the Board is divided into three parts:

Part I, The Federal Program for National Development: This is the report of the Board and contains its findings and recommendations.

Part II, Regional Development Plans: This section reproduces statements prepared through the ten regional offices of the Board in cooperation with regional and State planning agencies and with representative citizens.

Part III, Functional Development Policies: This part of the report is devoted to studies by the technical advisory committees of the Board on national policies for the development of our land, water, and energy resources.

To facilitate their use by the Congress, I recommend that all three parts of the report be printed, together with the illustrations and supporting tables.

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Chicago: Franklin D. Roosevelt, "28 Transmittal to Congress of a National Resources Planning Board Report.," Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941 in Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1938-1950), Item 159 Original Sources, accessed August 14, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4BCHGZY97YXXBKC.

MLA: Roosevelt, Franklin D. "28 Transmittal to Congress of a National Resources Planning Board Report." Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941, in Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1938-1950), Item 159, Original Sources. 14 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4BCHGZY97YXXBKC.

Harvard: Roosevelt, FD, '28 Transmittal to Congress of a National Resources Planning Board Report.' in Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941. cited in , Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1938-1950), Item 159. Original Sources, retrieved 14 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4BCHGZY97YXXBKC.