Myron C. Taylor Papers, Harry S. Truman Library

The President to Mr. Myron C. Taylor

Dear Mr. Taylor: The heart of the world is set on peace. The soul of mankind yearns for peace in a world riven by anger, hatred, jealousy and all ill-will. Peace, we know, would descend overnight but for the machinations of one wicked man who is spokesman for a cabal of evil associates.

The victims of these doers of evil are found throughout the satellite states. They are whole populations held in slavery under totalitarian tyranny. They are filled with longing for the happiness which was theirs before their countries were despoiled. That happiness can be restored and made real only through an honorable and enduring peace.

So I invite you again to go to Europe. I ask you to resume, with such leaders as are free to talk with you, the possibility of a common peace effort among free people.

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Your mission will be personal, and quite informal. You will go without rank or an official commission, as an American citizen of good will Seeking to enlist leaders in religion of various and varying allegiances in a quest for peace. We have no other objective.

Now through several years you have been discussing with Christian men, among many nations, the possibility of common action for peace. You and I have talked many times of the plan and purpose to hold in Washington a conference dedicated to peace—no other objective except peace.

Your appeals happily have been received with sympathetic understanding in Europe and at home by many religious leaders, but not by all. However, we are undismayed. We are steadfast in our conviction that righteousness exalteth a nation and, strengthened and inspired by that conviction, we shall always place the power and the prestige of this nation and all the authority of this office on the side of peace.

We must therefore cooperate with all religious leaders who share our conviction that only through peace can happiness again become the portion of mankind.

I ask you, then, in that spirit to go out again on your noble mission. As I have implicit confidence in your character and in your discretion, I give you no specific instruction. It is my earnest hope that you will continue to discuss with men of open minds—wherever you find them—whether leaders in church or state or civic affairs generally, the possibilities of a meeting here in our Capital City to lay the groundwork for peace and to promote good will among men.

If the proposed Washington peace meeting is to be fruitful of tangible results we must all come together in the spirit of brotherly love and Christian charity. If we cannot meet on that basis, I fear that our gathering would be a vain thing and our counsels as idle as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.1

Very sincerely yours,

Harry S. Truman
  1. Documentation concerning Taylor’s visits to Paris, London, and Rome can be found in the Myron C. Taylor Papers at the Harry S. Truman Library.