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PRINCIPLES AND OBJECTIVES OF AMERICAN
1. THE STATE OF THE UNION: Message by the President to the
Congress, January 4, 1950 (Excerpts)'
A year ago I reported to this Congress that the state of the Union was good.? I am happy to be able to report to you today that the state of the Union continues to be good. Our Republic continues to increase in the enjoyment of freedom within its borders, and to offer strength and encouragement to all those who love freedom throughout the world.
During the past year we have made notable progress in strengthening the foundations of peace and freedom, abroad and at home.
We have taken important steps in securing the North Atlantic community against aggression. We have continued our successful support of European recovery. We have returned to our established policy of expanding international trade through reciprocal agreement. We have strengthened our support of the United Nations.
While great problems still confront us, the greatest danger has receded—the possibility which faced us 3 years ago that most of Europe and the Mediterranean area might collapse under totalitarian pressure. Today, the free peoples of the world have new vigor and new hope for the cause of peace.
The scientific and industrial revolution which began two centuries ago has, in the last 50 years, caught up the peoples of the globe in a common destiny. Two world-shattering wars have proved that no corner of the earth can be isolated from the affairs of mankind.
The human race has reached a turning point. Man has opened the secrets of nature and mastered new powers. If he uses them wisely, he can reach new heights of civilization. If he uses them foolishly, they may destroy him.
Man must create the moral and legal framework for the world which
1 H. Doc. No. 389, 81st Cong., 2d sess; Department of State Bulletin, Jan. 16, 1950, pp. 75–78. 3 . Doc. No. 1, 81st Cong., 1st sess.
will insure that his new powers are used for good and not for evil. In shaping the outcome, the people of the United States will play a leading role.
Among all the great changes that have occurred in the last 50 years, none is more important than the change in the position of the United States in world affairs. Fifty years ago, we were a country devoted largely to our own internal affairs. Our industry was growing, and we had new interests in the Far East and in the Caribbean, but we were primarily concerned with the development of vast areas of our own continental territory.
Today our population has doubled. Our national production has risen from about $50,000,000,000, in terms of today's prices, to the staggering figure of $255,000,000,000 a year. We have a more productive economic system and a greater industrial potential than any other nation on the globe. Our standard of living is an inspiration for all other peoples. Even the slightest changes in our economic and social life have their effect on other countries all around the world.
Our tremendous strength has brought with it tremendous responsibilities. We have moved from the outer edge to the center of world affairs. Other nations look to us for a wise exercise of our economic and military strength, and for vigorous support of the ideals of representative government and a free society. We will not fail them.
Our objective in the world is peace. Our country has joined with others in the task of achieving peace. We know now that this is not an easy task, or a short one. But we are determined to see it through. Both of our great political parties are committed to working together and I am sure they will continue to work together--to achieve this end. We are prepared to devote our energy and our resources to this task, because we know that our own security and the future of mankind are at stake.
Our surest guide in the days that lie ahead will be the spirit in which this great Republic was founded. We must make our decisions in the conviction that all men are created equal, that they are equally entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that the duty of government is to serve these ends.
This country of ours has experienced many blessings, but none greater than its dedication to these principles. At every point in our history, these ideals have served to correct our failures and shortcomings, to spur us on to greater efforts, and to keep clearly before us the primary purpose of our existence as a nation. They have enshrined for us, as a principle of government, the moral imperative to do justice, and the divine command to men to love one another.
These principles give meaning to all that we do.
In foreign policy, they mean that we can never be tolerant of oppression or tyranny. They mean that we must throw our weight on the side of greater freedom and a better life for all peoples. These principles confirm us in carrying out the specific programs for peace which we have already begun.
We shall continue to give our wholehearted support to the United Nations. We believe that this organization can ultimately provide the framework of international law and morality without which mankind cannot survive. It has already set up new standards for the conduct of nations in the Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on Genocide. It is moving ahead to give meaning to the concept of world brotherhood through a wide variety of cultural, economic, and technical activities.
The events of the past year again showed the value of the United Nations in bringing about the peaceful adjustment of tense international controversies. In Indonesia 3 and in Palestine, * the efforts of the United Nations have put a stop to bloodshed and paved the way to peaceful settlements.
We are working toward the time when the United Nations will control weapons of mass destruction and will have the forces to preserve international law and order. While the world remains unsettled, however, and as long as our own security and the security of the free world require, we will maintain a strong and well-balanced defense organization. The selective service system is an essential part of our defense plans, and it must be continued.
Under the principles of the United Nations Charter, we must continue to share in the common defense of free nations against aggression. At the last session, this Congress laid the basis for this joint effort.6 We now must put into effect the common defense plans that are being worked out.
We shall continue our efforts for world economic recovery, because world prosperity is the only sure foundation for permanent peace.
As an immediate means to this end, we must continue our support of the European Recovery Program. This program has achieved great success in the first 2 years of operation, but it has not yet been completed. If we were to stop this program now, or cripple it, just because it is succeeding, we should be doing exactly what the enemies of democracy want us to do. We should be just as foolish as a man who, for reasons of false economy, failed to put a roof on his house after building the foundation and the walls.
World prosperity also requires that we do all we can to expand world trade. As a major step in this direction, we should promptly join the International Trade Organization. The purpose of this organization, which the United States has been foremost in creating, is to establish a code of fair practice, and an international authority for adjusting differences in international commercial relations. It is an effort to prevent the kind of anarchy and irresponsibility in world trade which did so much to bring about the world depression in the 1930's.
1 For the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the U. N. General Assembly as its Resolution 217A (III), Dec. 10, 1948, see A Decade of American Foreign Policy, pp. 1156-1159.
2 For the text of the Convention on Genocide, approved by the U. N. General Assembly Dec. 9, 1948, see ibid., pp. 966–969. The Convention was signed on behalf of the United States Dec. 11, 1948. On June 16, 1949, President Truman submitted(the convention to the Senate with a view to obtaining the advice and consent of that body to ratification. The Senate has not, however, taken definitive action on the convention. See Department of State Bulletin, June 7,1954, pp. 882–884, a See A Decade of American Foreign Policy, pp. 789-804.
See ibid., pp. 810-860, and infra, pp. 698–724, 5 See ibid., pp. 1076–1147.
• i. e., by the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949, approved Oct. 6, 1949; for its text, see ibid., pp. 1356–1364.
7 See ibid., pp. 1268-1327.
An expanding world economy requires the improvement of living standards and the development of resources in areas where human poverty and misery now prevail. Without such improvement, the recovery of Europe and the future of our own economy will not be secure. I urge that the Congress adopt the legislation now before it? to provide for increasing the flow of technical assistance and capital investment to underdeveloped regions.
It is more essential now than ever, if the ideals of freedom and representative government are to prevail in these areas, and particularly in the Far East, that their people experience, in their own lives, the benefits of scientific and economic advances. This program will require the movement of large amounts of capital from the industrial nations, and particularly from the United States, to productive uses in the underdeveloped areas of the world. Recent world events make prompt action imperative.
This program is in the interest of all peoples—and it has nothing in common with either the old imperialism of the last century or the new imperialism of the Communists.
Our aim for a peaceful, democratic world of free peoples will be achieved in the long run, not by force of arms, but by an appeal to the minds and hearts of men. If the peace policy of the democratic nations is to be successful, they must demonstrate that the benefits of their way of life can be increased and extended to all nations and all races.
In the world today, we are confronted with the danger that the rising demand of people everywhere for freedom and a better life may be corrupted and betrayed by the false promises of communism. In its ruthless struggle for power, communism seizes upon our imperfections, and takes advantage of the delays and setbacks which the democratic nations experience in their effort to secure a better life for their citizens. This challenge to us is more than a military challenge. It is a challenge to the honesty of our profession of the democratic faith; it is a challenge to the efficiency and stability of our economic system; it is a challenge to our willingness to work with other peoples for world peace and world prosperity.
For my part, I welcome the challenge. I believe that our country, at this crucial point in world history, will meet that challenge successfully. I believe that, in cooperation with the other free nations of the world, we shall extend the full benefits of the democratic way of life
1 For the abridged text of the Charter of International Trade Organization (Mar. 24, 1948), see A Decade of American Foreign Policy, pp. 391-409.
2 i.e., the proposals which became the Act for International Development, approved June 5, 1950; see infra, pp. 3047-3054.
to millions who do not now enjoy them, and preserve mankind from dictatorship and tyranny.
As we move forward into the second half of the twentieth century, we must always bear in mind the central purpose of our national life. We do not seek material prosperity for ourselves because we love luxury. We do not aid other nations because we wish to increase our power. We have not devised programs for the security and wellbeing of our people because we are afraid or unwilling to take risks. This is not the meaning of our past history or our present course,
We work for a better life for all, so that all men may put to good use the great gifts with which they have been endowed by their Creator. We seek to establish those material conditions of life in which, without exception, men may live in dignity, perform useful work, serve their communities, and worship God as they see fit.
These may seem simple goals, but they are not little ones. They are worth a great deal more than all the empires and conquests of history. They are not to be achieved by military aggression or political fanaticism. They are to be achieved by humbler meansby hard work, by a spirit of self-restraint in our dealings with one another, and by a deep devotion to the principles of justice and equality.
It should make us truly thankful, as we look back to the beginnings of this country, that we have come so far along the road to a better life for all. It should make us humble to think, as we look ahead, how much farther we have to go to accomplish at home and abroad the objectives that were set out for us at the founding of this Nation.
As we approach the halfway mark in the twentieth century, we should ask for continued strength and guidance from that Almighty Power who has placed before us such great opportunities for the good of mankind in the years to come.
2. “TOTAL DIPLOMACY” TO STRENGTHEN UNITED STATES
LEADERSHIP FOR HUMAN FREEDOM: Summary of Remarks by the Secretary of State, February 16, 1950 1
I would like to talk to you about the need today for "total diplomacy:" A few years ago, we in this country were fully acquainted with the phrase "total war" and with the implications of that phrase. We knew that we were engaged in a life and death struggle with a powerful foe and that if we were to be successful in that struggle we would have to marshal all of the resources of the country. It was not sufficient merely to turn the problem over to the Department of Defense or to any other branch of the Government and expect that we could succeed. It was necessary for each of us to play our assigned role in our common defense, to establish controls of the most far-reaching sort, and, in
1 At a meeting of the Advertising Council, the White House; Department of State Bulletin, Mar. 20, 1950, pp. 437–430.