Henry L. Stimson
Henry Lewis Stimson (September 21, 1867 – October 20, 1950) was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican Party politician and spokesman on foreign policy. He served as Secretary of War (1911–1913) under Republican William Howard Taft, and as Governor-General of the Philippines (1927–1929). As Secretary of State (1929–1933) under Republican President Herbert Hoover, he articulated the Stimson Doctrine which announced American opposition to Japanese expansion in Asia. He again served as Secretary of War (1940–1945) under Democrats Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, and was a leading hawk calling for war against Germany. During World War II he took charge of raising and training 13 million soldiers and airmen, supervised the spending of a third of the nation's GDP on the Army and the Air Forces, helped formulate military strategy, and oversaw the building and use of the atomic bomb.
- When the news first came that Japan had attacked us, my first feeling was of relief that the indecision was over and that a crisis had come in a way which would unite all our people. This continued to be my dominant feeling in spite of the news of catastrophes which quickly developed. For I feel that this country united has practically nothing to fear, while the apathy and divisions stirred up by unpatriotic men have been hitherto very discouraging.
- 7 December 1941 diary entry, per page 262 of "On Active Services In Peace And War", his 1947 biography
- The second generation Japanese can only be evacuated either as part of a total evacuation, giving access to the areas only by permits, or by frankly trying to put them out on the ground that their racial characteristics are such that we cannot understand or trust even the citizen Japanese. The latter is the fact but I am afraid it will make a tremendous hole in our constitutional system.
- The decision to weigh Lieut. Gen. Patton's great services to his country, in World War I and World War II, from these shores to Casablanca and through Tunisia to triumph in Sicily, on the one hand, against an indefensible act on the other, was Gen. Eisenhower's.
As his report shows, General Eisenhower in making his decision also considered the value to our country of General Patton's aggressive, winning leadership in the bitter battles which are to come before final victory. I am confident that you will agree with me that Gen. Eisenhower's decision, under these difficult circumstances, was right and proper.
- Report to the U.S. Senate on the George S. Patton slapping incidents, supporting Eisenhower's decision to retain Patton's services in the European theatre of WWII (November 1943)
- The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust.
- The Bomb and the Opportunity (March 1946)
- Gentlemen don't read each other's mail.
- On Active Service in Peace and War (1948)
- The only deadly sin I know is cynicism.
- On Active Service in Peace and War (1948), Introduction
- we needed the Japanese to commit the first overt act
Quotes about Stimson
- I remember Mr. Stimson saying to me that he thought it appalling that there should be no protests over the air raids which we were conducting over Japan, which in the case of Tokyo led to such extraordinarily heavy loss of life. He didn't say that the air strikes shouldn't be carried on, but he did think that there was something wrong with a country where no one questioned that ...