Letter from John E. Fogarty to General Edwin M. Watson
Fogarty had been trying to get permission to take a leave of absence from Congress to enlist in the Navy. Here, he explained
further a scheme to enter to armed forces for a brief time. Edwin M. Watson (1883-1945) was a U.S. Army Major General and
military advisor and appointments secretary to President Franklin D. Roosevelt (in effect, the White House Chief of Staff)
Number of Image Pages:
2 (590,233 Bytes)
1944-06-23 (June 23, 1944)
Fogarty, John E.
Watson, Edwin M.
Original Repository: Phillips Memorial Library, Special and Archival Collections at Providence College
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Early Career in Congress, 1941-1949
Box Number: 12
Folder Number: 133
June 23, 1944.
This will follow up my telephone conversation with you this afternoon regarding my desire to enter the Navy. The proposal
that I outlined to the President on my conversation with him this afternoon is as follows:
About December 1st of this year myself, Congressman Gore of Tennessee, and Congressman Jackson of Washington are desirous
of entering the Armed Forces. It is understood that each Member entering the service would have a Member of the opposite
political party enter the service at the same time, so that the relative standing of the Democratic and Republican Parties
in the House would be the same.
In order to overcome the objection previously raised by the President regarding the entrance of Members of Congress into the
Armed Forces, it is understood that we will defer taking our Oath of Office as Members of Congress for the new term until
after our return from the services. Under the rules of the House of Representatives, a Member of Congress does not hold his
office until he takes the oath, and, consequently, we will have met the previous objections raised by the Attorney General
in a letter to the President in January of this year.
I wish to advise you that the above proposal has been concurred in by the Speaker, Mr. Sam Rayburn, and the Minority Leader,
Mr. Joe Martin.
If this proposal is approved by the President, I will not resign this coming week from Congress, but will be willing to defer
such action on the acceptance of this proposal. Otherwise, it is my intention to resign on Wednesday, and enter the service
on Friday, of this coming week.
You may contact me at Gaspee 3341, Room 200 Custom House, Providence, Rhode Island, on or after Monday, June 26, 1944, and
I will get in touch with Mr. Jackson and Mr. Gore.
In order to avoid any immediate difficulty, I would strongly suggest that this order not be made public until its effective
date, namely about December first.