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Letter to the Speaker on the Appropriation for Foreign Aid

August 25, 1950

Dear Mr. Speaker:

The importance of the Point IV appropriation in the struggle against communist imperialism cannot be overemphasized.

Although the amount involved is relatively small in terms of dollars, the Point IV program has come to be a symbol of hope for millions of people all over the world. In countries where the choice between communist totalitarianism and the free way of life is in the balance, this program can tip the scales toward the way of freedom.

The advance agents of the communist conspiracy loudly promise the peoples of these countries a better way of life. We know that communism cannot deliver on these promises. We know that the way of freedom actually can and will provide a better life for people everywhere. But only through such action as the Point IV program can we demonstrate that fact in concrete and practical terms.

If the reduction made by the conference committee in the amount appropriated by the Senate for Point IV is allowed to stand, it will largely destroy the program's effectiveness. More than that, it will be regarded throughout the world as evidence that this country cannot be depended upon to help the millions of people in the underdeveloped areas of the world in bettering their lot. This attempt to save some ten million dollars will do more for the communists in their attack on the free world than the hundreds of millions of dollars of their own propaganda.

At a time when we are calling upon our young men to go into battle in the cause of freedom, I can conceive of no more tragic blunder than to throw away this opportunity of doing so much to strengthen the cause of freedom at such little cost.
Sincerely yours,
HARRY S. TRUMAN

[Honorable Sam Rayburn, The Speaker, The House of Representatives]