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Special Message to the Congress on the Mutual Security Program

March 6, 1952

To the Congress of the United States:

I recommend that the Congress authorize the continuance of the Mutual Security Program for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1953. Such action is essential to advance our program for world peace and to protect the security of the United States.

The Mutual Security Program provides equipment, supplies, and technical cooperation to enable friendly countries to carry out military and economic programs that will bring very great returns in increasing their security and our own. In each case, the countries concerned are driving to accomplish objectives which will bring closer to full realization our mutual goals of freedom and peace under the great principles of the Charter of the United Nations. Without some resources from us to add to their own, these objectives cannot be accomplished.

My support for this program rests on four propositions:

First, the plain fact is that we cannot achieve lasting security for ourselves except in association with other nations.

Second, the funds provided by the United States under the Mutual Security Program are essential to the success of the common efforts we are making with other free nations for peace.

Third, the funds thus invested by the United States will yield far larger returns, in terms of our own security, than if the same amount were used for our own defense establishment.

Fourth, the cost of the Mutual Security Program, together with the much larger costs of our military services and other defense measures, are well within our economic capacity.

I do not need to review here the tragic circumstances which have compelled this Nation to undertake massive programs for national defense and for mutual security. Most of us fully understand today the grimness of the threat which Soviet aggression carries for the survival of civilization.

Neither do I need to dwell upon the fact that all our military preparations are defensive preparations. We are seeking to create strength in the world sufficient to prevent aggression. We do not contemplate expenditures in the magnitude or of the character necessary to launch aggression. These facts underline the statement which cannot be too often repeated: our objective is peace, not war.

The point I do want to emphasize, for there still appear to be some people who do not recognize it, is that to achieve peace we must work together with other nations.

Some people would have us withdraw to our own shores and gamble our national safety on air and naval power. A glance at some of the vital materials that go into air and naval power illustrates how self-defeating this would be. Four-fifths or more of the manganese, the tin, and the chrome in a United States destroyer or jet fighter comes from outside the western hemisphere. Should we turn our back on the rest of the world, these and other precious resources, so vital to our own security, would not only be lost to us, but in all probability would be added to the military strength of the Soviet empire.

Without our friends abroad, the threat of aggression would move dose to our own shores. Without their armed forces, and the bases on their soil, and the raw materials from their mines and forests, our military power would be gravely hampered in its defense of the United States, and our whole economy would be seriously weakened. Our support and assistance for other nations, therefore, are not in the nature of charity. These are not handouts which we can carelessly offer or withdraw without regard to the effect on our own safety. The problems of American survival would be multiplied to an incalculable extent if we had to face the Soviet threat without the support and assistance of other nations.

The Mutual Security Program is justified not only by these hard strategic and military realities. It is, in addition, the only course which fulfills our position as a world leader in the battle for freedom and the rights of man. That is the reason so many nations freely join with us in a common faith in democracy and common desire for peace. These nations are our friends, and not our satellites. As friends, they contribute to the shared wisdom and faith of the free world-a wisdom and faith on which no single nation can claim a monopoly. We must accordingly take care to treat them as friends. We must not act as though we wished to degrade them to the rank of satellites by exacting a rigid and humiliating subservience which no free nation could with dignity accept. We will never be defeated as long as we truly stand for a free partnership of free peoples. The unconquerable power of the free world lies in the fact that loyalties are not coerced.

The concrete requirements of American security compel us to a policy of international cooperation. But it would be, I believe, a misrepresentation of the American people to suppose that self-interest--even wise and enlightened self-interest--is the only cause for our concern with the outside world. As a nation, we have been dedicated through our history to the belief that responsible men deserve a democratic government and a free society. This belief is the essence of our way of life. We would betray our innermost convictions if today we were to flee the cause of the free peoples. If through inaction we desert the cause of democracy, the democratic hope may be exterminated in broad areas of this earth. If we rise to our historic traditions, we can add powerful momentum to the democratic counter-offensive which inspires in the people of the world a sense of their own destiny as free men--and which will in the end burst the bonds of tyranny everywhere on earth.

The pursuit of mutual security through mutual strength is thus the keystone of the broad foreign 'policy which the United States and other free nations have adopted as the surest road to lasting peace.

The American people have steadfastly supported this foreign policy since the Second World War. Its pattern today is sharp and clear. If I were to make a brief definition of our policy, I would call it the policy of peace through collective strength. We are joined with other countries in the patient and systematic building in the free world of enough military strength to deter external communist aggression; and of economic and political and moral strength to remove internal threats of communist subversion and point the way toward democratic progress.

I wish to emphasize very strongly that all these forms of strength are necessary if we are to achieve freedom and peace. The plain and inescapable fact is that they are indivisible. Neither military strength nor economic strength nor political strength nor moral strength can do the job alone.

Military strength is the first necessity, for without a shield against aggression the free world would be helpless before the enemy. Military strength must be built, and we must help build it, in Europe and in other critical areas of the world. But military strength is not just a matter of delivering arms to our allies. It is also a matter of defense support to enable our allies to do more to expand and equip their own defense forces.
And even arms and defense support together do not provide a full answer to the Soviet threat; to believe that they do is dangerously to misunderstand the nature of the foe. The gun is but one weapon in the Soviet arsenal of aggression. If we ignored the necessity for building moral and political and economic strength, we would expose ourselves to the danger of communist gains which could be at least as damaging as outright aggression. Since the Soviet Union does not rely exclusively on military attack, we would be foolish indeed to rely exclusively on military defense.


The funds required under the Mutual Security Program fall into two broad categories.

The first of these, which is by far the larger, is for assistance in building up the military strength of friendly nations. This aid is of two types: (1) Direct military aid, primarily in the form of military equipment and components thereof, and (2) defense support--primarily in the form of raw materials, commodities, and machinery--to enable other countries to sustain and increase their military efforts, where that type of support produces greater returns in military strength than would an equal amount of direct military aid. The bulk of the direct military aid and of the defense support will go to strengthen the defenses of the free nations in Europe. Amounts for direct military aid and defense support make up about 90 per cent of the total funds recommended for the Mutual Security Program for the fiscal year 1953.

The second broad category is for economic and technical assistance, primarily for the underdeveloped areas of the world, where economic progress is the first essential in the battle for freedom. Some of these funds will in fact also support defense efforts in certain countries in Southeast Asia, where communist aggression is an immediate menace. Amounts recommended for economic and technical assistance are about 10 per cent of the total.

The distribution of the amounts recommended is shown in more detail in the following table:

(In millions)


Direct Defense and Adminis- Area
military support technical tration totals

Europe 4, 070 11,819 5,889
Near East and Africa 606 1 96 802
Asia and the Pacific 611 2 408 1,019
American Republics 62 22 84
Multilateral Technical Assistance,
Migration, and
Relief Package freight 30 30
Administration 75 75

Total 3 5, 350 1,819 656 75 3 7, 900

1 Includes economic assistance for Austria.
2 Includes assistance to support military efforts in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
3 Columns do not add to totals because of rounding.

In the Mutual Security Act of 1951, the Congress provided for an integrated program, administered by appropriate operating agencies under the general direction of the Director for Mutual Security. These arrangements are working well, and I recommend that they be continued. Under them, direct military aid will be administered by the Department of Defense. The Mutual Security Agency will administer defense support in Europe, together with technical and economic assistance in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In South Asia, the Near East, Latin America, and the independent states of Africa, economic and technical assistance will be administered by the Technical Cooperation Administration of the Department of State.

We shall continue our policy of closely coordinating the Mutual Security Program with the technical assistance programs of the Organization of American States and the United Nations and its agencies, such as the food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. In addition, we shall continue to encourage, to the maximum extent possible, the investment of private capital for economic development abroad, and we shall continue to relate outlays under the Mutual Security Program to the loans being made by the Export-Import Bank and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.


Today, the problem of achieving security and strength in free Europe, in my judgment, is on the way to solution. The last five years have recorded remarkable gains as a result of actions we have taken under our policy of peace through collective strength-first in Greece and Turkey; then, in 1948, through the European Recovery Program, and since 1949 through the growing defensive power of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The American contribution did not of itself create these gains; but it did supply the essential margin without which the Europeans could not have fought their way out of their post-war slough of despond.

Five years ago, many European nations were on the verge of economic or political collapse. A divided and despairing continent-next to our own, the most productive and industrially powerful in the world--lay open for Soviet conquest.
How different the picture is today. Europe has made immense advances--in economic output, in military strength, in political self-confidence, in progress toward unity. Today, the Soviet Union knows that it cannot achieve its purposes in Europe, so long as the policy of collective strength continues.

Europe still has far to go. Economic health and vitality in Europe require a series of specific actions--varying from country to country--to raise industrial and agricultural productivity, to knock down trade barriers and exchange restrictions, and to encourage the vigorous forces of competition in European and world markets. They require further progress toward the democratic goals of a fair distribution of income, strong and free trade unions, fair and effective tax systems, and programs of land reform.

Above all, we in the United States do not believe that Western Europe can achieve its full strength without accelerated progress toward unity. Only this unity can release the great potential energy of free Europe. We will continue in every way we can to encourage its attainment.

The difficulties are very great. It is only candid to report that progress in this direction has not always been as fast as we hoped. Yet, in many respects the progress has been most impressive.

A revolution has been taking place in European thinking. The Organization for European Economic Cooperation and the European Payments Union have laid foundations for joint action in the economic and financial fields. In the Schuman Plan, six countries are creating an international authority for the production and distribution of coal and steel. Under the European Defense Community, the same six countries are planning to establish common armed forces, a common defense ministry, and a common military budget.

Europe has moved faster toward integration in the last five years than it did in the previous five