Truman Signs Bill for Near East Aid as 'Step to Peace'
At Solemn Kansas City Event He Pledges Acts, as Well as Words, in Support of U.N.
Says Aims Are Identical
Gibe at Soviet Attitude Seen -- He Hails Congress, Press -- No Administrator
By HAROLD B. HINTON
Special to The New York Times
Kansas City, May 22 -- With a pledge that the United States will act, as
well as talk, in
support of the United Nations, President Truman signed the Greek-Turkish aid bill in his emergency
executive office in the Hotel Muelbach here today.
He declared the legislation constituted "a vigorous effort to help create
conditions of peace" in the
The final approval of the law, which the President regards as the keystone
of the Truman Doctrine to
protect free peoples of the world in their right to select their own governments free of compulsion
from within or without, was performed in an atmosphere of severe solemnity.
Although he obviously was deeply moved, the President did not attempt to
make a ceremony out
of signing the bill.
Copy Is Flown to Him
The engrossed copy of the measure, ready for his signature, had been flown
to him by courier last
night. Promptly at 8 o'clock this morning it was placed on the table in the little dining room that
forms part of the suite Mr. Truman occupies when he is in Kansas City Blinding lights had been set up
so that the still and motion picture photographers could record the actual signing.
As is his wont, the President was patient with the photographers' request
for additional pictures.
When they seemed to have had enough he asked if "everybody is happy," but without smiling.
[Bulletins from the bedside of the President's mother said that Mrs. Truman
was "holding her
own," but "still pretty weak."]
Mr. Truman rose from the table and stepped into the adjoining living room,
where he read a
prepared statement to the assembled reporters.
"The conditions of peace include, among otherthings, the ability of nations
to maintain order and
independence, and to support themselves economically," he said, after describing the newly
approved act as "an important step in the building of the peace."
"In extending the aid requested by two members of the United Nations,"
the President continued,
"the United States is helping to further aims and purposes identical with those of the United
Nations. Our aid in this instance is evidence not only that we pledge our support to the United
Nations, but that we act to support it."
Soviet Role Noted
The reference was taken as a comparison with the attitude of the Soviet
Government, which has
abstained thus far from participation in most of the subsidiary activities of the United Nations,
confining its membership participation largely to debates in the Security Council and the General Assembly.
"With the passage and signature of this act," the President went on, "our
Ambassadors in Greece and Turkey are being instructed to enter into
immediate negotiations for agreements which, in accordance with the terms of
the act, will govern the application of our aid. We intend to make sure that the
aid we extend will benefit all the peoples of Greece and Turkey, not any
particular group or faction.
"I wish to express my appreciation to the leaders and members of both parties
in the Congress for their splendid support in obtaining the passage of this vital
This was the end of the prepared statement, but Mr. Truman obviously felt
something was lacking. He paused a moment, then added the following
"I want to say also that the press is to be commended -- complimented --
the manner in which the program was explained to the country. I think the
press made a great contribution toward informing the people of the United
States -- toward showing just exactly what the intention of the legislation is."
Emphasizes Support for U.N.
"I want to emphasize, too, that this is a step for peace. It is a step
the United Nations. I cannot emphasize that too strongly. It is set out clearly in
the statement, but I am just calling these matters to your attention so that when
you read the statement you will know exactly what it means."
The president also signed an executive order delegating to the Secretary
State exercise of the administrative powers granted him by the new law. It
was explained by Charles G. Ross, White House press secretary, that this
purely is a routine step, designed to clarify the precise management of the
details of the $400,000,000 aid program it authorized.
There was no announcement, as it was expected there might be of the
appointment of an administrator to oversee the whole program. Mr. Truman
said a week ago today that he was having difficulty persuading some unnamed
citizen to undertake the responsibility.
At that time he complained, as he has in the past, that it is difficult,
country is not in a shooting war, to convince men of ability and experience
they should give up their private pursuits and work for the Federal
The law the President put into effect today is the fruit of his March 12
message to Congress. It represents the outstanding evidence to date of what
is called by Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, Republican, of Michigan,
President pro tem of the Senate and chairman of the Foreign Relations
Committee, the "unpartisan" foreign policy it is desired to present to the
outside world during the making of peace.
President Truman asked Congress to enact the law by March 31, the date
which the British Government had notified him it would be obliged to
withdraw its economic support of the Greek Government. Compliance with
that portion of his message thus is nearly two months late, but otherwise the
bill meets the main outlines of the course he recommended.