Editorial Note

On May 24, 1951, President Truman transmitted a message to Congress containing recommendations for a Mutual Security Program. For Fiscal Year 1952, the President recommended military assistance amounting to $6.25 billion ($5.24 billion for Europe) and economic assistance of $2.25 billion ($1.65 billion for Europe). The message reads in part as follows:

“This Mutual Security Program brings together our various foreign aid programs, including the arms aid of the Mutual Defense Assistance Program, economic assistance for Europe—now being directed primarily to support of rearmament—and our economic aid to underdeveloped areas under the Point 4 concept. Every one of these programs has proved its worth.

“In preparing the present recommendations, each of these separate programs has been revised in the light of the emergency situation that [Page 318] exists in the world and the extraordinary demands that are being placed on our Nation. The amounts, the geographical areas, and the purposes of the aid have all been chosen in order to bring about the greatest possible increase in the security of the United States and the whole free world.

“Under this program, the United States will send tanks, guns, and planes to a number of free countries, in Europe and other parts of the world, which are building up armed forces against the threat of Communist attack. We will also send economic help to a number of countries—economic help ranging from machinery and materials with which to make weapons, to seeds, medicine, and technical assistance with which to conquer communism’s allies of starvation and sickness.”

The Mutual Security Program was to be administered under existing arrangements established by Congress in legislation authorizing previous military and economic assistance programs. The Department of Defense would continue to administer military aid, the Economic Cooperation Administration economic aid, and the Technical Cooperation Administration technical assistance. Coordinated policy guidance would be provided by the interdepartmental International Security Affairs Committee.

For the full text of the President’s message, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1951, pages 302–313, or Department of State Bulletin, June 4, 1951, pages 883–890.

Pursuant to the President’s message, the Executive Branch provided Congress with information and basic data on the proposed Mutual Security Program, including draft legislation. For text, see The Mutual Security Program for Fiscal Tear 1952: Basic Data Supplied by the Executive Branch, Committee Print for the use of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1951).