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March 6, I9I4U.

Dear Jimmy:
In oase you have not seen it and so that X may continue
to keep you posted, X am enclosing a copy of a confidential note
X have received from the President* I am not bothering the President with a reply because whatever he may do in the natter depends
upon your advice to him.
Our counsel has made a thorough study of that part of
the War Powers Act which reenaoted the Overman Act of World War
X. He points out that Congress, in passing the Ovenoan Act,
clearly must have intended that bank supervisory agencies should
be within its scope, since an unsuccessful effort was made to ex**
erapt the M&erve Board from the Act. The exemption for the Heserve Board was sought on the basis that the President might transfer its functions to the Comptroller of the Currency, the Treasury
Department, or some new authority. The natter was thoroughly debated and the exemption was denied, which could aeon only that
Congress felt that war conditions might require or, indeed, demand
such a merger*
I agree that "considering *circumstances' at the present
tine0, it would be inadvisable to press tor the original plan involving the FDIC, but the alternative plan avoids this difficulty
entirely since It involves only national banks, all of which are
members of the Reserve System. I doubt that the Treasury is in
high public favor at this time or that taking from it a relatively
unimportant function that does not properly belong to it and to
which the already overburdened Secretary cannot give his personal
attention, would be unpopular with the Congress or the general
Sincerely yours.

Honorable James P. Byrnes, Director,
Office of War Mobilization,
The White Bouse.


February 28, 1944*
Dear Marriner:I have been a good deal worried by
the language of the War Povers Act. My power
-would let me make a merger "only If necessary
for the prosecution of the war11. The trouble
is that while that excuse might get by, it is
just a bit open to doubt.
Also, considering "circumstances11
at the present time, I have grave doubt as to
whether action on my part at this time is
As ever yours,

Honorable Marriner S. Eccles,
Chairman, Board of Governors,
Federal Reserve System,
Washington 25, D. C.