The President to the President of the Senate1

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith for the consideration of the Congress a proposed supplemental appropriation for the fiscal year 1955 in the amount of $5,000,000 for Funds Appropriated to the President, as follows:

Funds Appropriated to the President

For expenses necessary to enable the President to take such measures as he deems appropriate to meet extraordinary or unusual circumstances arising in the international affairs of the Government, $5,000,000 to remain available until expended for use in the President’s discretion and without regard to such provisions of law as he may specify: Provided, That the President shall transmit to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, not less often than quarterly, a full report of expenditures under this appropriation.

No existing program or appropriation is available to meet the numerous unforeseen and unexpected contingencies, both great and small, which arise constantly in the day-to-day conduct of the international affairs of the Government. The small emergency fund which has been provided for the President in connection with national interest, security or defense is inappropriate for dealing with many situations which, although highly important, do not come within the purview of this fund.

An example is the participation in international trade fairs. Frequently a need arises for coordination by the Federal Government to insure that the exhibits of American business firms do not lose their national identification through association only with local distributors and agents. In 1954 there will be about 75 international trade fairs of particular significance and size. We would not expect to take part in all of these, but during the next twelve months the really important hard core of about 30 do constitute a valuable spring board for promoting a wider understanding of American products and our private enterprise system.

In the cultural and artistic fields as well we need greater resources to assist and encourage private musical, dramatic and other cultural groups to go forth and demonstrate that America too can lay claim to high cultural and artistic accomplishments. The enthusiasm with which this type of cultural offering is received abroad is demonstrated by the fabulous success of Porgy and Bess, [Page 1777] playing to capacity houses in an extended tour of the free countries of Europe. The contribution which such presentations make toward a better understanding of America can scarcely be exaggerated. I consider it essential that we take immediate and vigorous action to demonstrate the superiority of the products and cultural values of our system of free enterprise.

Just as it is impossible to anticipate the precise purposes for which the proposed appropriation would be used, so it is impossible to make an accurate estimate of the exact amount necessary to carry out those purposes. For this reason, the amount herein requested is not limited to a particular period, but would remain available so long as necessary to meet unforeseen and unanticipated needs. The Congress could, of course, at any time rescind any portion of the appropriation which remained unused.

In requesting the Congress to provide broad authority of this nature, I believe that the Congress will want to be kept informed of the precise uses to which these funds will be put. Accordingly, the proposed appropriation language would provide that full reports of expenditures be made quarterly to the respective committees on appropriations of the two Houses.

I trust that the Congress will give most careful consideration to the proposed appropriation.

Respectfully yours,

Dwight D. Eisenhower
  1. A notation on the source text reads: “Estimate No. 82 83rd Congress–2nd Session”.