WASHINGTON -- President Roosevelt, in a war report to the nation tonight, warned the people that America will suffer more reverses before the battle tide turns but that ground yielded will be regained--"that soon we, and not our enemies, will have the offensive."
He renewed his promise to keep the people informed of the progress of the war, declaring the government has unmistakable confidence in " your ability to hear the worst, without flinching or losing heart." But he said they must in turn have "complete confidence" that the government is with-holding information of value to the enemy.
Mr. Roosevelt's message was built about the theme that Axis propagandists were trying to destroy confidence of the Allied nations in each other while Axis armies seek to "divide and conquer."
Scornfully, he rejected suggestions that this country pull back its warships, planes and merchantships into home waters and concentrate solely on a last-ditch of the United States. He said this is "foolish" and a "fatuous policy."
He pointed out that even before the war started the Philippines were surrounded on three sides by Japanese power--immediately following the Pearl Harbor attack, he said, the Japanese moved down on either side of the Philippines to numerous points south of them and thereby completed encirclement of this American outpost.