The New York Times
May 23, 1947

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 Chosen

                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
                impromptu peroration:

                "I want to say also that the press is to be commended -- complimented -- on
                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 to support
                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 of
                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, when the
                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 on
                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.