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stronger we become, the more possible it will be to work out solid and lasting arrangements that will prevent war. Our strength will make for peace.
We saw the folly of weakness in the days of Hitler. We know now that we must have defenses when there is an aggressor abroad in the world. But once we have defenses strong enough to prevent the sneaking, creeping kind of aggression that Hitler practiced-what is the next step? Must we then have a show-down and a war until one side or the other is completely victorious?
I think not. Our policy is based on the hope that it will be possible to live, without a war, in the same world as the Soviet Union--if the free nations have adequate defenses. As our defenses improve, the chances of negotiating successfully with the Soviet Union will increase. The growth of our defenses will help to convince the leaders of the Soviet Union that peaceful arrangements are in their own self-interest. And as our strength increases, we should be able to negotiate settlements that the Soviet Union will respect and live up to.
We are determined to leave no stone unturned in this search not only for relief from the horror of another world war but also for the basis of a durable peace. I hope that the growing strength of the free world will convince the leaders of the Soviet Union that it is to their own best interest to lay aside their aggressive plans and their phony peace propaganda and join with us and the other free nations to work out practical arrangements for achieving peace.
Twice within one generation we have spent our blood and our treasure in defense of human freedom. For six long years now we have contended, with all the weapons of the mind and spirit, against the adherents of the false god of tyranny. When the nations of Europe, our neighbors, were left, like the man in Scripture who fell among thieves, robbed and wounded and half dead, we have offered them our oil and our wine, without stint and without price. When one of the newest and smallest nations of Asia was invaded, we led the free world to its defense.
These positive acts have not been easy to do. They have brought upon us hatred and threats and curses of the enemies of freedom-and may bring upon us even worse troubles. Nevertheless, if this Nation is justified by history, it is these things that will justify it and not the negative virtue of meaning no harm.
God forbid that I should claim for our country the mantle of perfect righteousness. We have committed sins of omission and sins of commission, for which we stand in need of the mercy of the good Lord. But I dare maintain before the world that we have done much that was right.
To the sowers of suspicion, and the peddlers of fear, to all those who seem bent on persuading us that our country is on the wrong track and that there is no honor or loyalty left in the land, and that woe and ruin lie ahead, I would say one thing: “Take off your blinders, and look to the future. The worst danger we face is the danger of being paralyzed by doubts and fears. This danger is brought on by those who abandon faith and sneer at hope. It is brought on by those who spread cynicism and distrust and try to blind us to our great chance to do good for all mankind.”
1 Luke 10: 33–37.
9. THE STATE OF THE UNION: Message by the President to the
Congress, January 9, 1952 (Excerpts) I have the honor to report to the Congress on the state of the Union.
At the outset, I should like to speak of the necessity for putting first things first as we work together this year for the good of our country.
The United States and the whole free world are passing through a period of grave danger. Every action you take here in Congress, and every action I take as President, must be measured against the test of whether it helps to meet that danger.
We are moving through a perilous time. Faced with a terrible threat of aggression, our Nation has embarked upon a great effort to help establish the kind of world in which peace shall be secure. Peace is our goal--not peace at any price, but a peace based on freedom and justice. We are now in the midst of our effort to reach that goal. On the whole, we have been doing very well.
Last year, 1951, was a year in which we threw back aggression, added greatly to our military strength, and improved the chances for peace and freedom in many parts of the world.
This year, 1952, is a crucial year in the defense effort of the whole free world. If we falter, we can lose all the gains that we have made. If we drive ahead, with courage and vigor and determination, we can by the end of 1952 be in a position of much greater security. will be dangerous for years ahead, but if we put forth our best efforts this year—and next year—we can be "over the hump" in our effort to build strong defenses.
When we look at the record of the past year, 1951, we find important things on both the credit and the debit side of the ledger. We have made great advances. At the same time we have run into new problems which must be overcome.
Let us look at the credit side first.
Peace depends upon the free nations sticking together, and making a combined effort to check aggression and prevent war. In this respect 1951 was a year of great achievement.
In Korea the forces of the United Nations turned back the Chinese Communist invasion, and did it without widening the area of conflict.
1 H. Doc. No. 269, 82d Cong., 2d sess.; Department of State Bulletin, Jan. 21, 1952, pp. 79-83.
The action of the United Nations in Korea has been a powerful deterrent to a third world war. However, the situation in Korea remains very hazardous. The outcome of the armistice negotiations is still uncertain.
In Indochina and Malaya our aid has helped our allies to hold back the Communist advance, although there are signs of further trouble in that area.
In 1951 we strengthened the chances of peace in the Pacific region by the treaties with Japan and by defense arrangements with Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.'
In Europe combined defense bas become a reality. The free nations have created a real fighting force. This force is not yet as strong as it needs to be; but it is already a real obstacle to any attempt by hostile forces to sweep across Europe to the Atlantic.
In 1951 we also moved to strengthen the security of Europe by the agreement to bring Greece and Turkey into the North Atlantic Treaty.
The United Nations, the world's great hope for peace, has come through a year of trial stronger and more useful than ever. The free nations have stood together in blocking Communist attempts to tear up the Charter.
At the present session of the United Nations in Paris, we, together with the British and the French, offered a plan to reduce and control all armaments under a foolproof inspection system. This is a concrete, practical proposal for disarmament.
But what happened? Vishinsky laughed at it. Listen to what he said: "I could hardly sleep at all last night ... I could not sleep because I kept laughing." 5 The world will be a long time forgetting the spectacle of that fellow laughing at disarmament.
Disarmament is not a joke. Vishinsky's laughter met with shock and anger from people all over the world. And, as a result, Mr. Stalin's representative received orders to stop laughing and start talking.
If the Soviet leaders were to accept this proposal, it would lighten the burden of armaments and permit the resources of the earth to be devoted to the good of mankind. But until the Soviet Union accepts a sound disarmament proposal, and joins in peaceful settlements, we have no choice except to build up our defenses.
During this past year we added more than a million men and women to our Armed Forces. The total is now nearly 3% million. We have made rapid progress in the field of atomic weapons. We have turned out 16 billion dollars worth of military supplies and equipment, three times as much as the year before.
1 See infra, pp. 425-440, 885–886, 878-880, and 873–875. 2 Infra, pp. 853–854. 3 The Sixth Regular Session of the General Assembly, Nov. 6, 1951-Feb. 5, 1952.
* See tripartite statement of Nov. 7, 1951; Department of State Bulletin, Nov. 19, 1951, p. 802.
ó Statement of Nov. 8, 1951; New York Times, Nov. 9, 1951, p.
The outstanding fact to note on the debit side of the ledger is that the Soviet Union in 1951 continued to expand its military production and increase its already excessive military power.
It is true that the Soviets have run into increasing difficulties. Their hostile policies have awakened stern resistance among free men throughout the world. And, behind the iron curtain the Soviet rule of force has created growing political and economic stresses in the satellite nations.
Nevertheless, the grim fact remains that the Soviet Union is increasing its armed might. It is still producing more war planes than the free nations. It has set off two more atomic explosions. The world still walks in the shadow of another world war.
In other free countries the defense build-up has created severe economic problems. It has increased inflation in Europe and has endangered the continued recovery of our allies.
In the Middle East political tensions and the oil controversy in Iran are keeping the region in a turmoil. In the Far East the dark threat of Communist imperialism still hangs over many nations.
This, very briefly, is the good side and the bad side of the picture.
Taking the good and bad together, we have made real progress this last year along the road to peace. We have increased the power and unity of the free world. And, while we were doing this, we have avoided world war on the one hand and appeasement on the other. This is a hard road to follow, but the events of the last year show that it is the right road to peace.
We cannot expect to complete the job overnight. The free nations may have to maintain for years the larger military forces needed to deter aggression. We must build steadily, over a period of years, toward political solidarity and economic progress among the free countries in all parts of the world.
Our task will not be easy; but, if we go at it with a will, we can look forward to steady progress. On our side are all the great resources of freedom; the ideals of religion and democracy, the aspiration of people for a better life, and the industrial and technical power of a free civilization.
These advantages outweigh anything the slave world can produce. The only thing that can defeat us is our own state of mind. We can lose if we falter.
The middle period of a great national effort like this is a very difficult time. The way seems long and hard. The goal seems far distant. Some people get discouraged. That is only natural.
But if there are any among us who think we ought to ease up in the fight for peace, I want to remind them of three things—just three things.
First: The threat of world war is still very real. We had one Pearl Harbor; let's not get caught off guard again. If you don't think the threat of Communist armies is real, talk to some of our men back from Korea.
Second: If the United States had to try to stand alone against a Soviet-dominated world, it would destroy the life we know and the ideals we hold dear. Our allies are essential to us, just as we are essential to them. The more shoulders there are to bear the burden the lighter it will be.
Third: The things we believe in most deeply are under relentless attack. We have the great responsibility of saving the basic moral and spiritual values of our civilization. We have started out well, with a program for peace that is unparalleled in history. If we believe in ourselves and the faith we profess, we will stick to the job.
This is a time for courage, not for grumbling and mumbling.
The thing that is uppermost in the minds of all of us is the situation in Korea. We must—and we will—keep up the fight there until we get the kind of armistice that will put an end to the aggression and protect the safety of our forces and the security of the Republic of Korea. Beyond that, we shall continue to work for a settlement in Korea that upholds the principles of the United Nations. We went into Korea because we knew that Communist aggression had to be met firmly if freedom was to be preserved in the world. We went into the fight to save the Republic of Korea, a free country, established under the United Nations. These are our aims. We will not give up until we attain them.
Meanwhile, we must continue to strengthen the forces of freedom throughout the world.
I hope the Senate will take early and favorable action on the Japanese peace treaty, on our security pacts with Pacific countries, and on the agreement to bring Greece and Turkey into the North Atlantic Treaty.
We are also negotiating an agreement with the German Federal Republic under which it can play an honorable and equal part among nations and take its place in the defense of Western Europe.?
But treaties and plans are only the skeleton of our defense structure. The sinew and muscle of defense forces and equipment must be provided.
In Europe we must go on helping our friends and allies to build up their military forces. This means we must send weapons in large volume to our European allies. I have directed that weapons for Europe be given a very high priority. Economic aid is necessary, too, to supply the margin of difference between success and failure in making Europe a strong partner in our joint defense.
In the long run we want to see Europe freed from any dependence on our aid. Our European allies want that just as much as we do. The steps that are now being taken to build European unity should help bring that about. Five European countries are pooling their coal and steel production under the Schuman plan. Work is going forward on the merger of European national forces on the Continent
1 For Senate action on these agreements, see infra, pp. 463–483, 864-871, 876– 877, 882–885, and 893–896.
? For the texts of the agreements of May 26, 1952, see S. Execs. Q and R, 81st Cong., 2d sess., pp. 9–22 and 25–150.
3 For the European Coal and Steel Community, see infra, pp. 1039–1078.