MAY 7, 1952
NEW YORK, Tuesday—A memorandum has just been submitted to members of Congress by the American Citizens Committee for Economic Aid Abroad. This committee is made up of some very prominent people and it is interesting that they feel so strongly the need for supporting economic assistance and technical aid which is requested in the Mutual Security Program for 1952.
The committee gives reasons first why it feels economic aid is still needed in Europe. It points out that while the Marshall Plan since June, 1950, has helped many European countries to rehabilitate their economy, these same countries have been called upon to make heavy expenditures in the area of defense. They must import raw materials and equipment, which is only obtainable in the United States and must be paid for in dollars. They do not have these dollars and they cannot earn them. Therefore, if we fail to give them economic aid not only their economy but their security is jeopardized—and European security is closely allied to American security.
Anyone who has been keeping abreast of the news from Latin America will realize that the Central and South American leaders do not feel the United States is giving them what they consider necessary for building up their economies and thereby insuring their security.
As far as India is concerned, we are assured that what we give there will be well used because there is cooperation and integration in that country among all agencies. The problems are colossal because of the number of people involved. What is being asked seems to us a great deal, but if India remains a strong democratic nation our future is 100 percent more secure. The old Lenin saying that the way to a Communist world lies through Peking and Calcutta is still in the minds of the Kremlin.
I believe that military strength is essential, but I do not think that for one minute we can feel that military strength alone will accomplish the ends we have in view of a peaceful, democratic world. It is true that we carry in this country the burden of the debt we incurred in World War II, but the cost of the Mutual Security Program in 1952 is the equivalent of one month's expenditure in World War II. Then we spent of necessity for destruction; now we spend to build up security.
Other nations are making every effort but they are still weak. It may be possible to cut the costs of some of the work we do, but, by and large, the amounts that must go to the other countries must remain intact.
I have seen what is slowing evolving in India, Pakistan and some of the Arab countries, as well as in Europe, and I join heartily in the appeal being made by the American Citizens Committee not only to the members of Congress but, I hope, to all the people of our nation.
We must understand the alternatives that face us—building of our friends, or eventually facing an increasingly communistic world.