Truman Acts to Save Nations From Red Rule
Asks 400 Million to Aid Greece and Turkey
Congress Fight Likely But Approval Is Seen
NEW POLICY SET UP
President Blunt in Plea to Combat 'Coercion' as World Peril
PLANS TO SEND MEN
Goods and Skills Needed as Well as Money, He Tells Congress
By Felix Belair Jr.
Special to The New York Times
Washington, March 12 - President Truman outlined a new foreign policy for
United States today. In a historic message to Congress, he proposed that this country intervene
wherever necessary throughout the world to prevent the subjection of free peoples to
Communist-inspired totalitarian regimes at the expense of their national integrity and importance.
In a request for $400,000,000 to bolster the hard-pressed Greek and Turkish
against Communist pressure, the President said the constant coercion and intimidation of free peoples
by political infiltration amid poverty and strife undermined the foundations of world peace and
threatened the security of the United States.
Although the President refrained from mentioning the Soviet Union by name,
there could be no
mistaking his identification of the Communist state as the source of much of the unrest throughout the
world. He said that, in violation of the Yalta Agreement, the people of Poland, Rumania and
Bulgaria had been subjected to totalitarian regimes against their will and that there had been similar
developments in other countries.
Cardinal Points of Departure
As the Senate and House of Representatives sat grim-faced but apparently
determined on the
course recommended by the Chief Executive, Mr. Truman made these cardinal points of departure
from traditional American foreign policy:
"I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free
peoples who are resisting
attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.
"I believe that our help should be primarily through economic and financial
aid which is essential to
economic stability and orderly political processes."
In addition to the $400,000,000 to be expended before June 30, 1948, the
Congress to authorize the detail of American civilian and military personnel to Greece and
Turkey, upon the request of those countries. The proposed personnel would supervise the use of
material and financial assistance and would train Greek and Turkish personnel in special skills.
Lest efforts be made to cast him in the role of champion of things as they
are, the President
recognized that the world was not static and that the status quo was not sacred. But he warned that
if we allowed changes in the status quo in violation of the United Nations Charter through such
subterfuges as political infiltration, we would be helping to destroy the Charter itself.
Aware of Broad Implications
President Truman said he was fully aware of the "broad implications involved"
if the United States went to the assistance of Greece and Turkey. He said
that, while our aid to free peoples striving to maintain their independence
would be primarily financial and economic, he reminded Congress that the
fundamental issues involved were no different from those for which we fought
a war with Germany and Japan.
The standing ovation that marked the close of the President's address was
echoing through the Capitol corridors as he left the building to motor to the
National Airport, where he left by plane for Key West, Fla., for a four-day
rest on orders of his personal physician, Brig. Gen. Wallace Graham.
The President appeared tired from the ordeal of his personal appearance
before the joint session, but evidently satisfied that the specific
recommendations of his message, with its delineation of the implications of a
new policy, had temporarily discharged the obligation of the Executive. It was
the turn of Congress to make the next move.
That move was not long in the making. Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg,
chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, called a meeting of his group
for tomorrow morning to consider the President's proposals. The House
Foreign Affairs Committee was to consider the kindred $350,000,000
appropriation for destitution relief in liberated countries.
In the sharp and conflicting reaction to the President's program, many
were raised on each side of the Capitol in approval and in criticism. However,
there was little doubt that the vast majority in both houses would reflect the
wishes of their leaders and go down the line for the new policy and the added
financial responsibility it implied.
Would Bar Any Coercion
Apparently conscious of the advance demands by Senator Vandenberg and
others that he set forth the full implications of his recommendations, President
Truman explained that one of the primary objectives of our foreign policy had
been the creation of conditions in which this and other nations would work out
a way of life free from coercion by outside influences.
It was to insure the peaceful development of nations, free from coercion,
the United States had taken a leading role in the establishment of the United
Nations, Mr. Truman went on. And the United Nations was designed to
provide a lasting freedom and independence for all its members.
But these objectives could not be attained, said the President, "unless
willing to help free peoples to maintain their free institutions and their national
integrity against aggressive movements that seek to impose upon them
Anticipating criticism, not long in developing, that his proposals to lend
$250,000,000 to Greece and $150,000,000 to Turkey would "by-pass the
United Nations," Mr. Truman explained that, while the possibility of United
Nations aid had been considered, the urgency and immediacy were such that
the United Nations was not in a position to assist effectively.
The President made it clear that the responsibilities he asked Congress
squarely had developed suddenly because of the inability of Great Britain to
extend help to either the Greek or Turkish Government after March 31. He
said the British withdrawal by March 31 foreshadowed the imposition of
totalitarian regimes by force in both countries unless the United States stepped
in to support the existing Governments.
The President reiterated that it was a serious course on which he was asking
Congress to embark. But he said he would not ask it except that the
alternative was much more serious. The United States contributed
$341,000,000,000 toward the winning of World War II, the President
Although there was a note of apology for the present Greek Government,
which the President conceded had made mistakes, it was described as a
freely elected one.
The Greek government, he said, represents 85 per cent of the members of
Greek Parliament. He recalled that 692 American observers had been present
in Greece when the Parliament was elected and had certified that the election
represented a fair expression of the views of the Greek people.
Although the President did not specify the allocation of the $400,000,000
has been generally understood that the Administration intends to use
$250,000,000 for Greece and $150,000,000 for Turkey. He asked further
authority to permit the speediest and most effective translation of the funds
into "needed commodities, supplies and equipment," which was taken to refer
to the supply of surplus war equipment to the Greek Army out of United
States Army supplies in Europe.