WINSTON CHURCHILL - PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT LETTERS - FBI FILES
220 pages of files copied from FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., covering Winston Churchill. Files contain approximately 75 readable pages, chiefly covering 1940s and 1950s FBI investigations into several threats against the then former Prime Minister of Great Britain. Files also contain miscellaneous references to Prime Minister Churchill.
700 pages of correspondences between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. These cables show the close friendship and working relationship that developed between U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The correspondences show that this relationship was crucial in the establishment of a unified effort to deal with the Axis powers. Roosevelt begun the correspondence with Churchill in 1940, while Churchill was still first lord of the admiralty. Thus, Churchill is often referred to as "Former Naval Person" in the correspondences.
The initial interaction by Churchill was to encourage a neutral America to take a more active anti-Axis role. In July 1940 newly elected Prime Minister Churchill requested help from FDR, after Britain had sustained the loss of 11 destroyers to the German Navy over a 10-day period. Roosevelt responded by exchanging 50 destroyers for 99-year leases on British bases in the Caribbean and Newfoundland. A major foreign policy debate erupted over whether the United States should aid Great Britain or maintain strict neutrality.
In the 1940 presidential election campaign Roosevelt promised to keep America out of the war. He stated, "I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again; your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." Nevertheless, FDR wanted to support Britain and believed the United States should serve as a "great arsenal of democracy." Churchill pleaded "Give us the tools and we'll finish the job." In January 1941, following up on his campaign pledge and the prime minister's appeal for arms, Roosevelt proposed to Congress a new military aid bill.
The plan was to "lend-lease or otherwise dispose of arms" and other supplies needed by any country whose security was vital to the defense of the United States. This Lend-Lease Act, proposed by FDR in January 1941 and passed by Congress in March, went a long way toward solving the concerns of both Great Britain's desperate need for supplies and America's desire to appear neutral.