Roosevelt Finishes Defense Tour (10-1-40)

Reading Eagle (October 1, 1940)


Latin-American Army Chiefs Begin Trip With U.S. Officers

Washington, Oct. 1 (AP) –

President Roosevelt, fresh from his own tour of defense progress in the strategic Chesapeake Bay area, reserved an open spot in his crowded schedule today to greet Pan-American army chiefs here for an extensive inspection of the growing military establishment of the United States.

Today marked the beginning of the intensive two-week program which will take army officers of Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru and Uruguay to air, artillery and infantry training centers and to the industrial sections which are forging weapons of defense.

The itinerary will take the visiting Latin American missions from the District of Columbia to Texas and Oklahoma, to Detroit and New York, and to various other focal points of defense effort.

Gen. George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff and official host of the visiting military men, said he felt sure that the inspection trip would “result in a better understanding of our common defense problems and in closer co-operations towards the security of the Western Hemisphere.”

Plan Informal Talks

General Marshall said no formal conference on hemisphere security subjects were planned, but that informal discussions might take place on specific points.

In the course of their trip, the Latin American officers will tour the Chesapeake Bay area which Mr. Roosevelt covered yesterday in his 117-mile round of inspection.

The President stopped at the Army Ordnance Proving Ground at Aberdeen, Md., the airplane manufacturing plant of the Glenn L. Martin Company, near Baltimore, and Fort Meade, the Army post soon to receive the first contingent of the conscription trainees.

Mr. Roosevelt watched tanks, guns and mechanized army equipment in action, saw aircraft moving along assembly lines, and said at the end of his trip that he thought things were going along in fine shape.