Congress Impeding Military Preparedness





Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library




The following statement was given out by the President this evening:

A situation has developed in the Congress to which I deem it my duty to call the attention of the country in the plainest words. Every effort to legislate for the safety and military preparation of the nation in these last hours of the Congress is being met by dilatory tactics on the part of certain members of the House and Senate which are intended to make it impossible and to throw all action over until another Congress can be assembled and organized. It should cause the gravest concern to everyone who knows anything of the real posture of our foreign affairs that it is in the power of a few men at this truly critical moment when the fortunes of the nation may hang in the balance to put obstacles which may prove insuperable in the way of the immediate adoption of measures (notably the army and navy appropriation bills) whose main and only purpose is the national defence, and which should be at once put into force. For myself I protest in the most earnest and solemn manner and in the name of the people themselves against this dangerous betrayal of the country's most sacred interests. Nothing can excuse such action, and the private purpose by which it is apparently prompted gives it the most sinister meaning. There is here injected into our politics, when the common safety should be the common interest of every man who professes to be a patriot, the most dangerous influence that could be conceived - a sinister thing originating, not from the outside of our national circle, but at the very heart of it. I hope that the country will speak what it thinks.


Original Format





Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924, “Congress Impeding Military Preparedness,” 1917, WWP20636, Woodrow Wilson Press Statements, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.

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