Harry S Truman
State of the Union Address
January 6, 1947
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Congress of the United States:
It looks like a good many of you have moved over to the left since I
was here last!
I come before you today to report on the State of the Union and, in
the words of the Constitution, to recommend such measures as I judge necessary
I come also to welcome you as you take up your duties and to discuss
with you the manner in which you and I should fulfill our obligations to
the American people during the next 2 years.
The power to mold the future of this Nation lies in our hands--yours
and mine, and they are joined together by the Constitution.
If in this year, and in the next, we can find the right course to take
as each issue arises, and if, in spite of all difficulties, we have the
courage and the resolution to take that course, then we shall achieve a
state of well-being for our people without precedent in history. And if
we continue to work with the other nations of the world earnestly, patiently,
and wisely, we can--granting a will for peace on the part of our neighbors-make
a lasting peace for the world.
But, if we are to realize these ends, the Congress and the President,
during the next 2 years, must work together. It is not unusual in our history
that the majority of the Congress represents a party in opposition to the
President's party. I am the twentieth President of the United States who,
at some time during his term of office, has found his own party to be in
the minority in one or both Houses of Congress. The first one was George
Washington. Wilson was number eighteen, and Hoover was number nineteen.
I realize that on some matters the Congress and the President may have
honest differences of opinion. Partisan differences, however, did not cause
material disagreements as to the conduct of the war. Nor, in the conduct
of our international relations, during and since the war, have such partisan
differences been material.
On some domestic issues we may, and probably shall, disagree. That in
itself is not to be feared. It is inherent in our form of Government. But
there are ways of disagreeing; men who differ can still work together sincerely
for the common good. We shall be risking the Nation's safety and destroying
our opportunities for progress if we do not settle any disagreements in
this spirit, without thought of partisan advantage.
THE GENERAL DOMESTIC ECONOMY
As the year 1947 begins, the state of our national economy presents
great opportunities for all. We have virtually full employment. Our national
production of goods and services is 50 percent higher than in any year
prior to the war emergency. The national income in 1946 was higher than
in any peacetime year. Our food production is greater than it has ever
been. During the last 5 years our productive facilities have been expanded
in almost every field. The American standard of living is higher now than
ever before, and when the housing shortage can be overcome it will be even
During the past few months we have removed at a rapid rate the emergency
controls that the Federal Government had to exercise during the war. The
remaining controls will be retained only as long as they are needed to
protect the public. Private enterprise must be given the greatest possible
freedom to continue the expansion of economy.
In my proclamation of December 31, 1946 I announced the termination
of hostilities. This automatically ended certain temporary legislation
and certain executive powers.
Two groups of temporary laws still remain: the first are those which
by Congressional mandate are to last during the "emergency"; the second
are those which are to continue until the "termination of the war,"
I shall submit to the Congress recommendations for the repeal of certain
of the statutes which by their terms continue for the duration of the "emergency."
I shall at the same time recommend that others within this classification
be extended until the state of war has been ended by treaty or by legislative
action. As to those statutes which continue until the state of war has
been terminated, I urge that the Congress promptly consider each statute
individually, and repeal such emergency legislation where it is advisable.
Now that nearly all wartime controls have been removed, the operation
of our industrial system depends to a greater extent on the decisions of
businessmen, farmers, and workers. These decisions must be wisely made
with genuine concern for public welfare. The welfare of businessmen, farmers,
and workers depends upon the economic well-being of those who buy their
An important present source of danger to our economy is the possibility
that prices might be raised to such an extent that the consuming public
could not purchase the tremendous volume of goods and services which will
be produced during 1947.
We all know that recent price increases have denied to many of our workers
much of the value of recent wage increases. Farmers have found that a large
part of their increased income has been absorbed by increased prices. While
some of our people have received raises in income which exceed price increases,
the great majority have not. Those persons who live on modest fixed incomes--retired
persons living on pensions, for example--and workers whose incomes are
relatively inflexible, such as teachers and other civil servants--have
In the effort to bring about a sound and equitable price structure,
each group of our population has its own responsibilities.
It is up to industry not only to hold the line on existing prices, but
to make reductions whenever profits justify such action.
It is up to labor to refrain from pressing for unjustified wage increases
that will force increases in the price level.
And it is up to Government to do everything in its power to encourage
high-volume Production, for that is what makes possible good wages, low
prices, and reasonable profits.
In a few days there will be submitted to the Congress the Economic Report
of the President, and also the Budget Message. Those messages will contain
many recommendations. Today I shall outline five major economic policies
which I believe the Government should pursue during 1947. These policies
are designed to meet our immediate needs and, at the same time, to provide
for the long-range welfare of our free enterprise system:
First, the promotion of greater harmony between labor and management.
Second, restriction of monopoly and unfair business practices; assistance
to small business; and the promotion of the free competitive system of
Third, continuation of an aggressive program of home construction.
Fourth, the balancing of the budget in the next fiscal year and the
achieving of a substantial surplus to be applied to the reduction of the
Fifth, protection of a fair level of return to farmers in post-war agriculture.
LABOR AND MANAGEMENT
The year just past--like the year after the first World War--was marred
by labor management strife.
Despite this outbreak of economic warfare in 1946, we are today producing
goods and services in record volume. Nevertheless, it is essential to improve
the methods for reaching agreement between labor and management and to
reduce the number of strikes and lockouts.
We must not, however, adopt punitive legislation. We must not in order
to punish a few labor leaders, pass vindictive laws which will restrict
the proper rights of the rank and file of labor. We must not, under the
stress of emotion, endanger our American freedoms by taking ill-considered
action which will lead to results not anticipated or desired.
We must remember, in reviewing the record of disputes in 1946, that
management shares with labor the responsibility for failure to reach agreements
which would have averted strikes. For that reason, we must realize that
industrial peace cannot be achieved merely by laws directed against labor
During the last decade and a half, we have established a national labor
policy in this country based upon free collective bargaining as the process
for determining wages and working conditions.
That is still the national policy.
And it should continue to be the national policy!
as yet, not all of us have learned what it means to bargain freely and
fairly. Nor have all of us learned to carry the mutual responsibilities
that accompany the right to bargain. There have been abuses and harmful
practices which limit the effectiveness of our system of collective bargaining.
Furthermore, we have lacked sufficient governmental machinery to aid labor
and management in resolving their differences.
Certain labor-management problems need attention at once and certain
others, by reason of their complexity, need exhaustive investigation and
We should enact legislation to correct certain abuses and to provide
additional governmental assistance in bargaining. But we should also concern
ourselves with the basic causes of labor-management difficulties.
In the light of these considerations, I propose to you and urge your
cooperation in effecting the following four-point program to reduce industrial
Point number one is the early enactment of legislation to prevent certain
First, under this point, are jurisdictional strikes. In such strikes
the public and the employer are innocent bystanders who are injured by
a collision between rival unions. This type of dispute hurts production,
industry, and the public--and labor itself. I consider jurisdictional strikes
The National Labor Relations Act provides procedures for determining
which union represents employees of a particular employer. In some jurisdictional
disputes, however, minority unions strike to compel employers to deal with
them despite a legal duty to bargain with the majority union. Strikes to
compel an employer to violate the law are inexcusable. Legislation to prevent
such strikes is clearly desirable.
Another form of inter-union disagreement is the jurisdictional strike
involving the question of which labor union is entitled to perform a particular
task. When rival unions are unable to settle such disputes themselves,
provision must be made for peaceful and binding determination of the issues.
A second unjustifiable practice is the secondary boycott, when used
to further jurisdictional disputes or to compel employers to violate the
National Labor Relations Act.
Not all secondary boycotts are unjustified. We must judge them on the
basis of their objectives. For example, boycotts intended to protect wage
rates and working conditions should be distinguished from those in furtherance
of jurisdictional disputes. The structure of industry sometimes requires
unions, as a matter of self-preservation, to extend the conflict beyond
a particular employer. There should be no blanket prohibition against boycotts.
The appropriate goal is legislation which prohibits secondary boycotts
in pursuance of unjustifiable objectives, but does not impair the union's
right to preserve its own existence and the gains made in genuine collective
A third practice that should be corrected is the use of economic force,
by either labor or management, to decide issues arising out of the interpretation
of existing contracts.
Collective bargaining agreements, like other contracts, should be faithfully
adhered to by both parties. In the most enlightened union-management relationships,
disputes over the interpretation of contract terms are settled peaceably
by negotiation or arbitration. Legislation should be enacted to provide
machinery whereby unsettled disputes concerning the interpretation of an
existing agreement may be referred by either party to final and binding
Point number two is the extension of facilities within the Department
of Labor for assisting collective bargaining.
One of our difficulties in avoiding labor strife arises from a lack
of order in the collective bargaining process. The parties often do not
have a dear understanding of their responsibility for settling disputes
through their own negotiations. We constantly see instances where labor
or management resorts to economic force without exhausting the possibilities
for agreement through the bargaining process. Neither the parties nor the
Government have a definite yardstick for determining when and how Government
assistance should be invoked. There is need for integrated governmental
machinery to provide the successive steps of mediation, voluntary arbitration,
and--ultimately in appropriate cases--ascertainment of the facts of the
dispute and the reporting of the facts to the public. Such machinery would
facilitate and expedite the settlement of disputes.
Point number three is the broadening of our program of social legislation
to alleviate the causes of workers' insecurity.
On June 11, 1946, in my message vetoing the Case Bill, I made a comprehensive
statement of my views concerning labor-management relations. I said then,
and I repeat now, that the solution of labor-management difficulties is
to be found not only in legislation dealing directly with labor relations,
but also in a program designed to remove the causes of insecurity felt
by many workers in our industrial society. In this connection, for example,
the Congress should consider the extension and broadening of our social
security system, better housing, a comprehensive national health program,
and provision for a fair minimum wage.
Point number four is the appointment of a Temporary Joint Commission
to inquire into the entire field of labor-management relations.
I recommend that the Congress provide for the appointment of a Temporary
Joint Commission to undertake this broad study.
The President, the Congress, and management and labor have a continuing
responsibility to cooperate in seeking and finding the solution of these
problems. I therefore recommend that the Commission be composed as follows:
twelve to be chosen by the Congress from members of both parties in the
House and the Senate, and eight representing the public, management and
labor, to be appointed by the President.
The Commission should be charged with investigating and making recommendations
upon certain major subjects, among others:
First, the special and unique problem of nationwide strikes in vital
industries affecting the public interest. In particular, the Commission
should examine into the question of how to settle or prevent such strikes
without endangering our general democratic freedoms.
Upon a proper solution of this problem may depend the whole industrial
future of the United States. The paralyzing effects of a nationwide strike
in such industries as transportation, coal, oil, steel, or communications
can result in national disaster. We have been able to avoid such disaster,
in recent years, only by the use of extraordinary war powers. All those
powers will soon be gone. In their place there must be created an adequate
system and effective machinery in these vital fields. This problem will
require careful study and a bold approach, but an approach consistent with
the preservation of the rights of our people. The need is pressing. The
Commission should give this its earliest attention.
Second, the best methods and procedures for carrying out the collective
bargaining process. This should include the responsibilities of labor and
management to negotiate freely and fairly with each other, and to refrain
from strikes or lockouts until all possibilities of negotiation have been
Third, the underlying causes of labor management disputes.
Some of the subjects presented here for investigation involve long-range
study. Others can be considered immediately by the Commission and its recommendations
can be submitted to the Congress in the near future.
I recommend that this Commission make its first report, including specific
legislative recommendations, not later than March 15, 1947.
RESTRICTION Of MONOPOLY AND PROMOTION OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
The second major policy I desire to lay before you has to do with the
growing concentration of economic power and the threat to free competitive
private enterprise. In 1941 the Temporary National Economic Committee completed
a comprehensive investigation into the workings of the national economy.
The Committee's study showed that, despite a half century of anti-trust
law enforcement, one of the gravest threats to our welfare lay in the increasing
concentration of power in the hands of a small number of giant organizations.
During the war, this long-standing tendency toward economic concentration
was accelerated. As a consequence, we now find that to a greater extent
than ever before, whole industries are dominated by one or a few large
organizations which can restrict production in the interest of higher profits
and thus reduce employment and purchasing power.
In an effort to assure full opportunity and free competition to business
we will vigorously enforce the anti-trust laws. There is much the Congress
can do to cooperate and assist in this program.
To strengthen and enforce the laws that regulate business practices
is not enough. Enforcement must be supplemented by positive measures of
aid to new enterprises. Government assistance, research programs, and credit
powers should be designed and used to promote the growth of new firms and
new industries. Assistance to small business is particularly important
at this time when thousands of veterans who are potential business and
industrial leaders are beginning their careers.
We should also give special attention to the decentralization of industry
and the development of areas that are now under-industrialized.
The third major policy is also of great importance to the national economy:
an aggressive program to encourage housing construction. The first federal
program to relieve the veterans' housing shortage was announced in February
1946. In 1946 one million family housing units have been put under construction
and more than 665,000 units have already been completed. The rate of expansion
in construction has broken all records.
In the coming year the number of dwelling units built will approach,
if not surpass, the top construction year of 1926. The primary responsibility
to deliver housing at reasonable prices that veterans can afford rests
with private industry and with labor. The Government will continue to expedite
the flow of key building materials, to limit nonresidential construction,
and to give financial support where it will do the most good. Measures
to stimulate rental housing and new types of housing construction will
receive special emphasis.
To reach our long-range goal of adequate housing for all our people,
comprehensive housing legislation is urgently required, similar to the
non-partisan bill passed by the Senate last year. At a minimum, such legislation
should open the way for rebuilding the blighted areas of our cities and
should establish positive incentives for the investment of billions of
dollars of private capital in large-scale rental housing projects. It should
provide for improvement of housing in rural areas and for the construction,
over a 4-year period, of half a million units of public low-rental housing.
It should authorize a single peacetime federal housing agency to assure
efficient use of our resources on the vast housing front.
The fourth major policy has to do with the balancing of the budget.
In a prosperous period such as the present one, the budget of the Federal
Government should be balanced. Prudent management of public finance requires
that we begin the process of reducing the public debt. The budget which
I shall submit to you this week has a small margin of surplus. In the Budget
Message I am making recommendations which, if accepted, will result in
a substantially larger surplus which should be applied to debt retirement.
One of these recommendations is that the Congress take early action to
continue throughout the next fiscal year the war excise tax rates which,
under the present law, will expire on June 30, 1947.
Expenditures relating to the war are still high. Considerable sums are
required to alleviate world famine and suffering. Aid to veterans will
continue at peak level. The world situation is such that large military
expenditures are required. Interest on the public debt and certain other
costs are irreducible. For these reasons I have had to practice stringent
economy in preparing the budget; and I hope that the Congress will cooperate
in this program of economy.
The fifth major policy has to do with the welfare of our farm population.
of food reached record heights in 1946. Much of our tremendous grain crop
can readily be sold abroad and thus will become no threat to our domestic
markets. But in the next few years American agriculture can face the same
dangers it did after World War I. In the early twenties the Nation failed
to maintain outlets for the new productive capacity of our agricultural
plant. It failed to provide means to protect the farmer while he adjusted
his acreage to peacetime demands.
The result we all remember too well. Farm production stayed up while
demand and prices fell, in contrast with industry where prices stayed up
and output declined, farm surpluses piled up, and disaster followed.
We must make sure of meeting the problems which we failed to meet after
the first World War. Present laws give considerable stability to farm prices
for 1947 and 1948, and these 2 years must be utilized to maintain and develop
markets for our great productive power.
The purpose of these laws was to permit an orderly transition from war
to peace. The Government plan of support prices was not designed to absorb,
at great cost, the unlimited surpluses of a highly productive agriculture.
We must not wait until the guarantees expire to set the stage for permanent
farmer is entitled to a fair income.
Ways can be found to utilize his new skills and better practices, to expand
his markets at home and abroad, and to carry out the objectives of a balanced
pattern of peacetime production without either undue sacrifice by farm
people or undue expense to the Government.
HEALTH AND GENERAL WELFARE
Of all our national resources, none is of more basic value than the
health of our people. Over a year ago I presented to the Congress my views
on a national health program. The Congress acted on several of the recommendations
in this program-mental health, the health of mothers and children, and
hospital construction. I urge this Congress to complete the work begun
last year and to enact the most important recommendation of the program--to
provide adequate medical care to all who need it, not as charity but on
the basis of payments made by the beneficiaries of the program.
One administrative change would help greatly to further our national
program in the fields of health, education, and welfare. I again recommend
the establishment of a well-integrated Department of Welfare.
Fourteen million World War II servicemen have returned to civil life.
The great majority have found their places as citizens of their communities
and their Nation. It is a tribute to the fiber of our servicemen and to
the flexibility of our economy that these adjustments have been made so
rapidly and so successfully.
More than two million of these veterans are attending schools or acquiring
job skills through the financial assistance of the Federal Government.
Thousands of sick and wounded veterans are daily receiving the best of
medical and hospital care. Half a million have obtained loans, with Government
guarantees, to purchase homes or farms or to embark upon new businesses.
Compensation is being paid in almost two million cases for disabilities
or death. More than three million are continuing to mainlain their low-cost
National Service Life Insurance policies. Almost seven million veterans
have been aided by unemployment and self-employment allowances.
Exclusive of mustering-out payments and terminal leave pay, the program
for veterans of all wars is costing over seven billion dollars a year--one-fifth
of our total federal budget. This is the most far-reaching and complete
veterans program ever conceived by any nation.
Except for minor adjustments, I believe that our program of benefits
for veterans is now complete. In the long run, the success of the program
will not be measured by the number of veterans receiving financial aid
or by the number of dollars we spend. History will judge us not by the
money we spend, but by the further contribution we enable our veterans
to make to their country. In considering any additional legislation, that
must be our criterion.
We have recently witnessed in this country numerous attacks upon the
constitutional rights of individual citizens as a result of racial and
religious bigotry. Substantial segments of our people have been prevented
from exercising fully their right to participate in the election of public
officials, both locally and nationally. Freedom to engage in lawful callings
has been denied.
The will to fight these crimes should be in the hearts of every one
the Federal Government that fight is now being carried on by the Department
of Justice to the full extent of the powers that have been conferred upon
it. While the Constitution withholds from the Federal Government the major
task of preserving peace in the several States, I am not convinced that
the present legislation reached the limit of federal power to protect the
civil rights of its citizens.
I have, therefore, by Executive Order, established the President's Committee
on Civil Rights to study and report on the whole problem of federally-secured
civil rights, with a view to making recommendations to the Congress.
1 Executive Order 9808 (3 CFR, 1943-1948 Comp., p. 590.)
In our responsibility to promote the general welfare of the people,
we have always to consider the natural resources of our country. They are
the foundation of our life. In the development of the great river systems
of America there is the major opportunity of our generation to contribute
to the increase of the national wealth. This program is already well along;
it should be pushed with full vigor.
I must advise the Congress that we are rapidly becoming a "have not"
Nation as to many of our minerals. The economic progress and the security
of our country depend upon an expanding return of mineral discovery and
upon improved methods of recovery. The Federal Government must do its part
to meet this need.
Progress in reaching our domestic goals is closely related to our conduct
of foreign affairs. All that I have said about maintaining a sound and
prosperous economy and improving the welfare of our people has greater
meaning because of the world leadership of the United States. What we do,
or fail to do, at home affects not only ourselves but millions throughout
the world. If we are to fulfill our responsibilities to ourselves and to
other peoples, we must make sure that the United States is sound economically,
socially, and politically. Only then will we be able to help bring about
the elements of peace in other countries--political stability, economic
advancement, and social progress.
Peace treaties for Italy, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Hungary have finally
been prepared. Following the signing of these treaties next month in Paris,
they will be submitted to the Senate for ratification. This Government
does not regard the treaties as completely satisfactory. Whatever their
defects, however, I am convinced that they are as good as we can hope to
obtain by agreement among the principal wartime Allies. Further dispute
and delay would gravely jeopardize political stability in the countries
concerned for many years.
During the long months of debate on these treaties, we have made it
clear to all nations that the United States will not consent to settlements
at the expense of principles we regard as vital to a just and enduring
peace. We have made it equally dear that we will not retreat to isolationism.
Our policies will be the same during the forthcoming negotiations in Moscow
on the German and Austrian treaties, and during the future conferences
on the Japanese treaty.
The delay in arriving at the first peace settlements is due partly to
the difficulty of reaching agreement with the Soviet Union on the terms
of settlement. Whatever differences there may have been between us and
the Soviet Union, however, should not be allowed to obscure the fact that
the basic interests of both nations lie in the early making of a peace
under which the peoples of all countries may return, as free men and women,
to the essential tasks of production and reconstruction. The major concern
of each of us should be the promotion of collective security, not the advancement
of individual security.
Our policy toward the Soviet Union is guided by the same principles
which determine our policies toward all nations. We seek only to uphold
the principles of international justice which have been embodied in the
Charter of the United Nations.
We must now get on with the peace settlements. The occupying powers
should recognize the independence of Austria and withdraw their troops.
The Germans and the Japanese cannot be left in doubt and fear as to their
future; they must know their national boundaries, their resources, and
what reparations they must pay. Without trying to manage their internal
affairs, we can insure that these countries do not re-arm.
INTERNATIONAL RELIEF AND DISPLACED PERSONS
The United States can be proud of its part in caring for the peoples
reduced to want by the ravages of war, and in aiding nations to restore
their national economies. We have shipped more supplies to the hungry peoples
of the world since the end of the war than all other countries combined!
However, insofar as admitting displaced persons is concerned, I do not
feel that the United States has done its part. Only about 5,000 of them
have entered this country since May, 1946. The fact is that the executive
agencies are now doing all that is reasonably possible under the limitation
of the existing law and established quotas. Congressional assistance in
the form of new legislation is needed. I urge the Congress to turn its
attention to this world problem, in an effort to find ways whereby we can
fulfill our responsibilities to these thousands of homeless and suffering
refugees of all faiths.
World economic cooperation is essential to world political cooperation.
We have made a good start on economic cooperation through the International
Bank, the International Monetary fund, and the Export-Import Bank. We must
now take other steps for the reconstruction of world trade and we should
continue to strive for an international trade system as free from obstructions
The United States has taken the lead in the endeavor to put atomic energy
under effective international control. We seek no monopoly for ourselves
or for any group of nations. We ask only that there be safeguards sufficient
to insure that no nation will be able to use this power for military purposes.
So long as all governments are not agreed on means of international control
of atomic energy, the shadow of fear will obscure the bright prospects
for the peaceful use of this enormous power.
In accordance with the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, the Commission established
under that law is assuming full jurisdiction over domestic atomic energy
enterprise. The program of the Commission will, of course, be worked out
in close collaboration with the military services in conformity with the
wish of the Congress, but it is my fervent hope that the military significance
of atomic energy will steadily decline. We look to the Commission to foster
the development of atomic energy for industrial use and scientific and
medical research. In the vigorous and effective development of peaceful
uses of atomic energy rests our hope that this new force may ultimately
be turned into a blessing for all nations.
In 1946 the Army and Navy completed the demobilization of their wartime
forces. They are now maintaining the forces which we need for national
defense and to fulfill our international obligations.
We live in a world in which strength on the part of peace-loving nations
is still the greatest deterrent to aggression. World stability can be destroyed
when nations with great responsibilities neglect to maintain the means
of discharging those responsibilities.
This is an age when unforeseen attack could come with unprecedented
speed. We must be strong enough to defeat, and thus forestall, any such
attack. In our steady Progress toward a more rational world order, the
need for large armed forces is progressively declining; but the stabilizing
force of American military strength must not be weakened until our hopes
are fully realized. When a system of collective security under the United
Nations has been established, we shall be willing to lead in collective
disarmament, but, until such a system becomes a reality, we must not again
allow ourselves to become weak and invite attack.
For those reasons, we need well-equipped, well-trained armed forces
and we must be able to mobilize rapidly our resources in men and material
for our own defense, should the need arise.
The Army will be reduced to 1,070,000 officers and men by July 1, 1947.
Half of the Army will be used for occupation duties abroad and most of
the remainder will be employed at home in the support of these overseas
The Navy is supporting the occupation troops in Europe and in the Far
East. Its fundamental mission--to support our national interests wherever
required--is unchanged. The Navy, including the Marine Corps, will average
571,000 officers and men during the fiscal year 1948.
We are encountering serious difficulties in maintaining our forces at
even these reduced levels. Occupation troops are barely sufficient to carry
out the duties which our foreign policy requires. Our forces at home are
at a point where further reduction is impracticable. We should like an
Army and a Navy composed entirely of long-term volunteers, but in spite
of liberal inducements the basic needs of the Army are not now being met
by voluntary enlistments.
The War Department has advised me that it is unable to make an accurate
forecast at the present time as to whether it will be possible to maintain
the strength of the Army by relying exclusively on volunteers. The situation
will be much clearer in a few weeks, when the results of the campaign for
volunteers are known. The War Department will make its recommendations
as to the need for the extension of Selective Service in sufficient time
to enable the Congress to take action prior to the expiration of the present
law on March 31st. The responsibility for maintaining our armed forces
at the strength necessary for our national safety rests with the Congress.
The development of a trained citizen reserve is also vital to our national
security. This can best be accomplished through universal training. I have
appointed an Advisory Commission on Universal Training to study the various
plans for a training program, and I expect that the recommendations of
the Commission will be of benefit to the Congress and to me in reaching
decisions on this problem.
The cost of the military establishment is substantial. There is one
certain way by which we can cut costs and at the same time enhance our
national security. That is by the establishment of a single Department
of National Defense. I shall communicate with the Congress in the near
future with reference to the establishment of a single Department of National
National security does not consist only of an army, a navy, and
an air force. It rests on a much broader basis. It depends on a sound economy
of prices and wages, on prosperous agriculture, on satisfied and productive
workers, on a competitive private enterprise free from monopolistic repression,
on continued industrial harmony and production, on civil liberties and
human freedoms-on all the forces which create in our men and women a strong
moral fiber and spiritual stamina.
But we have a higher duty and a greater responsibility than the attainment
of our own national security. Our goal is collective security for all mankind.
If we can work in a spirit of understanding and mutual respect, we can
fulfill this solemn obligation which rests upon us.
The spirit of the American people can set the course of world history.
If we maintain and strengthen our cherished ideals, and if we share our
great bounty with war-stricken people over the world, then the faith of
our citizens in freedom and democracy will be spread over the whole earth
and free men everywhere will share our devotion to those ideals.
Let us have the will and the patience to this job together.
May the Lord strengthen us in our faith.
May He give us wisdom to lead the peoples of the world in His ways of