Statement by the President on the Point Four Program

April 18, 1951

DR. HENRY G. BENNETT, administrator of the Point 4 program, has given me an informal report of the progress of the program to date. I am pleased with what he has told me.

The Point 4 program is more necessary today than ever. The threat of Communist aggression compels the free world to build strong military defenses. But communism cannot be stopped by arms alone. One of its most dangerous weapons is its false appeal to people who are burdened with hunger, disease, poverty, and ignorance.

The Point 4 program is part of the defense of the free world. It is the best answer to the false promises of communism. It offers the plain people of the world a way to do what they want most to do--improve their conditions of life by their own efforts.

The Point 4 program is being welcomed in that spirit by the free countries of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Point 4 general agreements have been signed with 22 governments. About 360 American technicians are at work on Point 4 projects in 28 countries. More than 240 technicians from 34 countries are being trained in the United States.

But this is only the beginning. Dr. Bennett tells me that, with relatively small appropriations, Point 4 can help some 50 countries with a population of almost a billion people double their food production in 5 to 10 years. Comparable advances can be made by these countries in public health and education, as well as in other aspects of economic development.