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ANNUAL REPORTS WAR DEPARTMENT

FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 1935

REPORT OF THE

SECRETARY OF WAR

TO THE PRESIDENT

1935

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OFFICE

UNITED STATES

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

WASHINGTON : 1935

sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D.C.

Price 15 cents (paper cover)

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ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR

The PRESIDENT:

The fiscal year ending June 30, 1935, was in many respects one of the most important in the peace-time history of the War Department. Primarily, this Department, together with the Navy, is responsible for the national defense, although it engages in other activities of great importance. During the past year there has been a growing consciousness on the part of the American people of the need for a more adequate and a more modern defensive establishment. This is due not to any fear of an impending war, for our relations with foreign countries have continued friendly, but rather to a recognition that, in the absence of any effective assurance of permanent peace, a great country needs an efficient military force to provide against unforeseen eventualities.

This attitude of the public was reflected in the careful and intelligent consideration given by the Congress to all measures bearing on the common defense. During the past 12 months definite progress has been made toward a greatly improved Army. The Congress has given the necessary authorization for materially strengthening our forces and providing them with modern equipment. Within the next few months the improved military efficiency will be clearly apparent.

It cannot be too often repeated that our national policy contemplates no aggressive action; it is entirely defensive. Our Military Establishment, therefore, should be one designed to defend our homeland and overseas possessions. Such a pacific policy does not call for a large standing army, but it does contemplate a highly efficient nucleus, capable of rapid expansion in time of emergency.

The Army of the United States, composed of the Regular Army, the National Guard, and the Organized Reserves, as specified in the National Defense Act of 1920, almost ideally meets the requirements of our democratic country. However, since 1920 considerations of economy have operated against establishing and maintaining the force authorized by that great and wise act, hence for a decade and a half we have had an army far below the minimum strength which & country of the population, territorial expanse, and wealth of the United States should maintain in order reasonably to insure its security.

It is a pity that we should have become so oblivious to the bitter lessons of the World War as to allow our defense to dwindle until, if another war should be forced upon us, we should, as usual, be anprepared for effective action. In that event we should find that our so-called "economies " have in reality been a hideously extravagant waste of money and lives. With an army that is, and always has been, scrupulously loyal and subservient to the duly constituted civil authorities, the danger of so-called “militarism” would appear to be remote indeed.

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