George M. Elsey Papers, Harry S. Truman Library

Memorandum by the Administrative Assistant to the President (Elsey) to the Secretary to the President (Hassett)

I attach a short statement along the lines of remarks I drafted for the President’s use at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, last May. This portion of the speech was deleted prior to delivery because Charley Murphy and I felt that a lot of thought has to be given to this before we could even present it to the President.

Charley and I have talked about it occasionally since that time, but have never pursued the idea very far. A memo from Charley, and one from David Lloyd, are also attached.1

After you have read these—at your convenience—I should like to sit down with you and get your ideas.2


Proposed Statement for the President3

It is my belief that the nations of the world have failed to achieve a just and lasting peace because peace has been regarded as a materialistic matter—a matter of politics, and economics, and geography.

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But peace is far more than these things. It is a moral matter, an ethical matter, a religious matter. Peace is an affirmation of man’s obedience to the divine will that all men shall be brothers.

I believe that we need a new approach to peace, an approach that recognizes this basic fact.

I should like to see a closer relationship among the great religious faiths in the world. I should like to see the great religions work together to lead all men toward peace. I should like to see arrangements worked out whereby representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Protestant denominations, the Jewish faith, the Moslem and the Hindu faiths, and all the other great creeds could assemble from time to time to discuss the problems common to all those who adhere to moral and ethical values.

I believe that the world needs a great crusade for peace and I believe that this crusade must be led—not only by the temporal rulers but by the spiritual leaders of the world as well. Only through such a crusade can we achieve the peace we seek.

  1. The memoranda by Charles S. Murphy, Special Counsel to the President, and David D. Lloyd, Administrative Assistant to the President, are not printed, but can be found in the Elsey Papers.
  2. At the bottom of the source text, the following handwritten notation was made: “Handed to W[illiam] D. H[assett] on Williamsburg; read & returned by him with advice to drop the matter. Myron Taylor had tried last year with no success to work out such a matter.”
  3. Drafted by Elsey.