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                              PAPER XXXVI

"In time of crisis when the future is in the balance, we come to 
understand, with full recognition and devotion, what this Nation is, and 
what we owe to it." 

Address over the radio in celebration of Washington's Birthday, 
   February 23,1942

Washington's Birthday is a most appropriate occasion for us to talk with 
each other about things as they are today and things as we know-they 
shall be in the future. 

For eight years General Washington and his Continental Army were faced 
continually with formidable odds and recurring defeats. Supplies and 
equipment were lacking. In a sense, every winter was a Valley Forge. 
Throughout the Thirteen States there existed fifth columnists-selfish 
men, jealous men, fearful men, who proclaimed that Washington's cause 
was hopeless, that he should ask for a negotiated peace. 

Washington's conduct in those hard times has provided the model for all 
Americans ever since-a model of moral stamina. He held to his course, as 
it had been charted in the Declaration of Independence. He and the brave 
men who served with him knew that no man's life or fortune was secure 
without freedom and free institutions. 

The present great struggle has taught us increasingly that freedom of 
person and security of property anywhere in the world depend upon the 
security of the rights and obligations of liberty and justice every-
where in the world 

This war is a new kind of war. It is different from all other wars of 
the past, not only in its methods and weapons but also in its geography. 
It is warfare in terms of every continent, every island, every sea, 
every air lane in the world. 

That is the reason why I have asked you to take out and spread before 
you the map of the whole earth, and to follow with me the references 
which I shall make to the world-encircling battle lines of this war. 
Many questions will, I fear, remain unanswered; but I know you will 
realize I cannot cover everything in any one report to the people. 

The broad oceans which have been heralded in the past as our protection 
from attack have become endless battlefields on which we are constantly 
being challenged by our enemies. 

We must all understand and face the hard fact that our job now is to 
fight at distances which extend all the way around the globe. 

We fight at these vast distances because that is where our enemies are. 
Until our flow of supplies gives us clear superiority we must keep on 
striking our enemies wherever and whenever we can meet them, even if, 
for a while, we have to yield ground. Actually we are taking a heavy 
toll of the enemy every day that goes by. 

We must fight at these vast distances to protect our supply lines and 
our lines of communication with our Allies-protect these lines from the 
enemies who are bending every ounce of their strength, 

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striving against time, to cut them. The object of the Nazis and the 
Japanese is to separate the United States, Britain, China, and Russia, 
and to isolate them one from another, so that each will be surrounded 
and cut off from sources of supplies and reinforcements. It is the old 
familiar Axis policy of "divide and conquer". 

There are those who still think in terms of the days of sailing ships. 
They advise us to pull our warships and our planes and our merchant 
ships into our own home waters and concentrate solely on last-ditch 
defense. But let me illustrate what would happen if we followed such 
foolish advice. 

Look at your map. Look at the vast area of China, with its millions of 
fighting men. Look at the vast area of Russia, with its powerful armies 
and proven military might. Look at the British Isles, Australia, New 
Zealand, the Dutch Indies, India, the Near East, and the Continent of 
Africa, with their resources of raw materials and of peoples determined 
to resist Axis domination. Look at North America, Central America, and 
South America. 

It is obvious what would happen if all these great reservoirs of power 
were cut off from each other either by enemy action or by self-imposed 

1. We could no longer send aid of any kind to China-to the brave people 
who, for nearly five years, have withstood Japanese assault, destroyed 
hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers and vast quantities of 
Japanese war munitions. It is essential that we help China in her 
magnificent defense and in her inevitable counteroffensive-for that is 
one important element in the ultimate defeat of Japan. 

2. If we lost communication with the southwest Pacific, all of that 
area, including Australia and New Zealand, would fall under Japanese 
domination. Japan could then release great numbers of ships and men to 
launch attacks on a large scale against the coasts of the Western 
Hemisphere, including Alaska. At the same time she could immediately 
extend her conquests to India and through the Indian Ocean to Africa and 
the Near East. 

3. If we were to stop sending munitions to the British and the Russians 
in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf areas, we would help the Nazis to 
overrun Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Persia, Egypt, and the Suez Canal, the 
whole coast of north Africa, and the whole coast of west Africa-putting 
Germany within easy striking distance of South America. 

4. If, by such a fatuous policy, we ceased to protect the North Atlantic 
supply line to Britain and to Russia, we would help to cripple the 
splendid counteroffensive by Russia against the Nazis, and we would help 
to deprive Britain of essential food supplies and munitions.

Those Americans who believed that we could live under the illusion of 
isolationism wanted the American eagle to imitate the tactics of the 
ostrich. Now, many of those same people, afraid that we may be sticking 
our necks out, want our national bird to be turned into a turtle. But we 
prefer to retain the eagle as it is-flying high and striking hard. 

I know that I speak for the mass of the American people when I say that 
we reject the turtle policy and will continue increasingly the policy of 
carrying the war to the enemy in distant lands and distant waters-as far 
as possible from our own home grounds.

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There are four main lines of communication now being traveled by our 
ships-the North Atlantic, the South Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the 
South Pacific. These routes are not one-way streets, for the ships which 
carry our troops and munitions out-bound bring back essential raw 
materials which we require for our own use. 

The maintenance of these vital lines is a very tough job. It is a job 
which requires tremendous daring, tremendous resourcefulness, and, above 
all, tremendous production of planes and tanks and guns and of the ships 
to carry them. And I speak again for the American people when I say that 
we can and will do that job. 

The defense of the world-wide lines of communication demands relatively 
safe use by us of the sea and of the air along the various routes; and 
this, in turn, depends upon control by the United Nations of the 
strategic bases along those routes. 

Control of the air involves the simultaneous use of two types of planes-
first, the long-range, heavy bomber; and, second, light bombers, dive 
bombers, torpedo planes, and short-range pursuit planes which are 
essential to the protection of the bases and of the bombers themselves. 

Heavy bombers can fly under their own power from here to the southwest 
Pacific, but the smaller planes cannot. Therefore these lighter planes 
have to be packed in crates and sent on board cargo ships. Look at your 
map again and you will see that the route is long-and at many places 
perilous-either across the South Atlantic, around South Africa, or from 
California to the East Indies direct. A vessel can make a round trip by 
either route in about four months, or only three round trips in a whole 

In spite of the length and difficulties of this transportation, I can 
tell you that we already have a large number of bombers and pursuit 
planes, manned by American pilots, which are now in daily contact with 
the enemy in the southwest Pacific. And thousands of American troops are 
today in that area engaged in operations not only in the air but on the 
ground as well. 

In this battle area Japan has had an obvious initial advantage. For she 
could fly even her short-range planes to the points of attack by using 
many stepping stones open to her-bases in a multitude of Pacific islands 
and also bases on the China, Indo-China, Thailand, and Malay coasts. 
Japanese troop transports could go south from Japan and China through 
the narrow China Sea, which can be protected by Japanese planes 
throughout its whole length. 

I ask you to look at your maps again, particularly at that portion of 
the Pacific Ocean lying west of Hawaii. Before this war even started the 
Philippine Islands were already surrounded on three sides by Japanese 
power. On the west the Japanese were in possession of the coast of China 
and the coast of Indo-China, which had been yielded to them by the Vichy 
French. On the north are the islands of Japan themselves, reaching down 
almost to northern Luzon. On the east are the mandated islands, which 
Japan had occupied exclusively and had fortified in absolute violation 
of her written word. 

These islands, hundreds of them, appear only as small dots on most maps. 
But they cover a large strategic area. Guam lies in the middle of them-a 
lone outpost, which we never fortified. 

Under the Washington Treaty of 1921 we had solemnly agreed not to add to 
the fortification of the Philippine Islands. We had no safe 

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naval base there, so we could not use the islands for extensive naval 

Immediately after this war started the Japanese forces moved down on 
either side of the Philippines to numerous points south of them-thereby 
completely encircling the islands from north, south, east, and west. 

It is that complete encirclement, with control of the air by Japanese 
land-based aircraft, which has prevented us from sending substantial 
reinforcements of men and material to the gallant defenders of the 
Philippines. For 40 years it has always been our strategy-a strategy 
born of necessity-that in the event of a full-scale attack on the 
islands by Japan we should fight a delaying action-attempting to retire 
slowly into Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor. 

We knew that the war as a whole would have to be fought and won by a 
process of attrition against Japan itself. We knew all along that, with 
our greater resources, we could out-build Japan and ultimately overwhelm 
her on sea, on land, and in the air. We knew that, to obtain our 
objective, many varieties of operations would be necessary in areas 
other than the Philippines. 

Nothing that has occurred in the past two months has caused us to revise 
this basic strategy-except that the defense put up by General MacArthur 
has magnificently exceeded the previous estimates, and he and his men 
are gaining eternal glory therefor. 

MacArthur's army of Filipinos and Americans, and the forces of the 
United Nations in China, in Burma, and the Netherland East Indies, are 
all together fulfilling the same essential task. They are making Japan 
pay an increasingly terrible price for her ambitious attempts to seize 
control of the whole Asiatic world. Every Japanese transport sunk off 
Java is one less transport that they can use to carry reinforcements to 
their army opposing General MacArthur in Luzon. 

It has been said that Japanese gains in the Philippines were made 
possible only by the success of their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. I 
tell you that this is not so. 

Even if the attack had not been made, your map will show that it would 
have been a hopeless operation for us to send the fleet to the 
Philippines through thousands of miles of ocean, while all those island 
bases were under the sole control of the Japanese. 

The consequences of the attack on Pearl Harbor-serious as they were-have 
been wildly exaggerated in other ways. These exaggerations come 
originally from Axis propagandists; but they have been repeated, I 
regret to say, by Americans in and out of public life. 

You and I have the utmost contempt for Americans, who, since Pearl 
Harbor, have whispered or announced "off the record" that there was no 
longer any Pacific Fleet-that the fleet was all sunk or destroyed on 
December 7-that more than 1,000 of our planes were destroyed on the 
ground. They have suggested slyly that the Government has withheld the 
truth about casualties-that eleven or twelve thousand men were killed at 
Pearl Harbor instead of the figures as officially announced. They have 
even served the enemy propagandists by spreading the incredible story 
that shiploads of bodies of our honored American dead were about to 
arrive in New York Harbor to be put in a common grave. 

Almost every Axis broadcast directly quotes Americans who, by speech or 
in the press, make damnable misstatements such as these.

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The American people realize that in many cases details of military 
operations cannot be disclosed until we are absolutely certain that the 
announcement will not give to the enemy military information which he 
does not already possess. 

Your Government has unmistakable confidence in your ability to hear the 
worst, without flinching or losing heart. You must, in turn, have 
complete confidence that your Government is keeping nothing from you 
except information that will help the enemy in his attempt to destroy 
us. In a democracy there is always a solemn pact of truth between 
government and the people; but there must also always be a full use of 
discretion-and that word "discretion" applies to the critics of 
government as well. 

This is war. The American people want to know, and will be told, the 
general trend of how the war is going. But they do not wish to help the 
enemy any more than our fighting forces do; and they will pay little 
attention to the rumor mongers and poison peddlers in our midst. 

To pass from the realm of rumor and poison to the field of facts: The 
number of our officers and men killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor on 
December 7 was 2,340, and the number wounded was 946. Of all the 
combatant ships based on Pearl Harbor-battleships, heavy cruisers, light 
cruisers, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and submarines-only 3 were 
permanently put out of commission. 

Very many of the ships of the Pacific Fleet were not even in Pearl 
Harbor. Some of those that were there were hit very slightly; and others 
that were damaged have either rejoined the fleet by now or are still 
undergoing repairs. When those repairs are completed the ships will be 
more efficient fighting machines than they were before. 

The report that we lost more than a thousand airplanes at Pearl Harbor 
is as baseless as the other weird rumors. The Japanese do not know just 
how many planes they destroyed that day, and I am not going to tell 
them. But I can say that to date-and including Pearl Harbor-we have 
destroyed considerably more Japanese planes than they have destroyed of 

We have most certainly suffered losses-from Hitler's U-boats in the 
Atlantic as well as from the Japanese in the Pacific-and we shall suffer 
more of them before the turn of the tide. But, speaking for the United 
States of America, let me say once and for all to the people of the 
world: We Americans have been compelled to yield ground, but we will 
regain it. We and the other United Nations are committed to the 
destruction of the militarism of Japan and Germany. We are daily 
increasing our strength. Soon we, and not our enemies, will have the 
offensive; we, not they, will win the final battles; and, we, not they, 
will make the final peace. 

Conquered nations in Europe know what the yoke of the Nazis is like. And 
the people of Korea and of Manchuria know in their flesh the harsh 
despotism of Japan. All of the people of Asia know that if there is to 
be an honorable and decent future for any of them or for us, that future 
depends on victory by the United Nations over the forces of Axis 

If a just and durable peace is to be attained, or even if all of us are 
merely to save our own skins, there is one thought for us here at 

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home to keep uppermost-the fulfillment of our special task of 

Germany, Italy, and Japan are very close to their maximum output of 
planes, guns, tanks, and ships. The United Nations are not-especially 
the United States of America. 

Our first job then is to build up production so that the United Nations 
can maintain control of the seas and attain control of the air-not 
merely a slight superiority, but an overwhelming superiority. 

On January 6 of this year I set certain definite goals of production for 
airplanes, tanks, guns, and ships. The Axis propagandists called them 
fantastic. Tonight, nearly two months later, and after a careful survey 
of progress by Donald Nelson and others charged with responsibility for 
our production, I can tell you that those goals will be attained. 

In every part of the country, experts in production and the men and 
women at work in the plants are giving loyal service. With few 
exceptions, labor, capital, and farming realize that this is no time 
either to make undue profits or to gain special advantages, one over the 

We are calling for new plants and additions to old plants and for plant 
conversion to war needs. We are seeking more men and more women to run 
them. We are working longer hours. We are coming to realize that one 
extra plane or extra tank or extra gun or extra ship completed tomorrow 
may, in a few months, turn the tide on some distant battlefield; it may 
make the difference between life and death for some of our fighting men. 
We know now that if we lose this war it will be generations or even 
centuries before our concept on of democracy can live again. And we can 
loose this war only if we slow up our effort or if we waste our 
ammunition sniping at each other. Here are three high purposes for every 

First. We shall not stop work for a single day. If any dispute arises we 
shall keep on working while the dispute is solved by mediation, 
conciliation or arbitration-until the war is won. 

Second. We shall not demand special gains or special privileges or 
advantages for any one group or occupation. 

Third. We shall give up conveniences and modify the routine of our lives 
if our country asks us to do so. We will do it cheerfully, remembering 
that the common enemy seeks to destroy every home and every freedom in 
every part of our land. 

This generation of Americans has come to realize, with a present and 
personal realization, that there is something larger and more important 
than the life of any individual or of any individual group-something for 
which a man will sacrifice, and gladly sacrifice, not only his 
pleasures, not only his goods, not only his associations with those he 
loves, but his life itself. In time of crisis when the future is in the 
balance, we come to understand, with full recognition and devotion, what 
this Nation is, and what we owe to it. 

The Axis propagandists have tried in various evil ways to destroy our 
determination and our morale. Failing in that, they are now trying to 
destroy our confidence in our own allies. They say that the British are 
finished-that the Russians and Chinese are about to quit. Patriotic and 
sensible Americans will reject these absurdities. And instead of 
listening to any of this crude propaganda, they will recall some of the 
things that Nazis and Japanese have said and are still saying about us.

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Ever since this Nation became the arsenal of democracy-ever since 
enactment of lend-lease-there has been one persistent theme through all 
Axis propaganda. 

This theme has been that Americans are admittedly rich, and that 
Americans have considerable industrial power-but that Americans are soft 
and decadent, that they cannot and will not unite and work and fight. 

From Berlin, Rome, and Tokyo we have been described as a nation of 
weaklings-"playboys"-who would hire British soldiers, or Russian 
soldiers, or Chinese soldiers to do our fighting for us. 

Let them repeat that now. 

Let them tell that to General MacArthur and his men. 

Let them tell that to the sailors who today are hitting hard in the far 
waters of the Pacific. 

Let them tell that to the boys in the flying fortresses. 

Let them tell that to the marines. 

The United Nations constitute an association of independent peoples of 
equal dignity and importance. The United Nations are dedicated to a 
common cause. We share equally and with equal zeal the anguish and awful 
sacrifices of war. In the partnership of our common enterprise we must 
share in a unified plan in which all of us must play our several parts, 
each of us being equally indispensable and dependent one on the other. 

We have unified command and cooperation and comradeship. 

We Americans will contribute unified production and unified acceptance 
of sacrifice and of effort. That means a national unity that can know no 
limitations of race or creed or selfish politics. The American people 
expect that much from themselves. And the American people will find ways 
and means of expressing their determination to their enemies, including 
the Japanese admiral who has said that he will dictate the terms of 
peace here in the White House. 

We of the United Nations are agreed on certain broad principles in the 
kind of peace we seek. The Atlantic charter applies not only to the 
parts of the world that border the Atlantic but to the whole world; 
disarmament of aggressors, self-determination of nations and peoples, 
and the "four freedoms"-freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom 
from want, and freedom from fear. 

The British and the Russian people have known the full fury of Nazi 
onslaught. There have been times when the fate of London and Moscow was 
in serious doubt. But there was never the slightest question that either 
the British or the Russians would yield. And today all the United 
Nations salute the superb Russian Army as it celebrates the twenty-
fourth anniversary of its first assembly. 

Though their homeland was overrun, the Dutch people are still fighting 
stubbornly and powerfully overseas. 

The great Chinese people have suffered grievous losses; Chungking has 
been almost wiped out of existence, yet it remains the capital of an 
unbeatable China. 

That is the conquering spirit which prevails throughout the United 
Nations in this war. 

The task that we Americans now face will test us to the uttermost. 

Never before have we been called upon for such a prodigious effort. 
Never before have we had so little time in which to do so much 

"These are the times that try men's souls." 

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Tom Paine wrote those words on a drumhead, by the light of a campfire. 
That was when Washington's little army of ragged, rugged men was 
retreating across New Jersey, having tasted nothing bat defeat. 

And General Washington ordered that these great words written by Tom 
Paine be read to the men of every regiment in the Continental Army, and 
this was the assurance given to the first American armed forces: 

"The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink 
from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves 
the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell is not easily 
conquered; yet we have this consolation with us: That the harder the 
sacrifice, the more glorious the triumph."

So spoke Americans in the year 1776. 

So speak Americans today!