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Agricultural Commodity Credit Guarantees to Poland Remarks Announcing Approval of the Commodity Credit Corporation Guarantees.

September 12, 1980

Good afternoon.

The Government and the people of the United States have watched with concern and with hope as events have unfolded in Poland in recent days. Our response has been careful, constructive, and prudent. All of us have sympathized with the aspirations of the Polish people. All of us are glad that a crisis in Poland's evolution appears to be on its way to a peaceful and constructive resolution.

These events touched the emotions of all who care about the rights and dignity of people. There was progress. There's also continued economic dislocations. Now there's a need, the most basic kind of need—the need for food. On behalf of the American people I'm acting on an urgent basis to help meet that need for food.

I've directed today the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend $670 million in new credit guarantees to Poland for the purchase of agricultural commodities. In plain language this means that the American people and American farmers will guarantee loans to sell some 4 million tons of grain and other farm products to the people of Poland.

I'd like to say just a word about why we are doing this. In taking this action the Government of the United States is responding quickly and completely to a request from the Government and the people of Poland. But in a deeper sense we are responding to the moral obligation that's rooted in the fundamental beliefs of the people of the United States and the people of Poland.

This action is a significant proof of the solidarity between the American people and the Polish people. It's an expression of our admiration for the dignity with which the entire Polish nation—the workers, the Government, and the church—is conducting itself during this difficult time of evolution and change. It's a demonstration of our willingness to use our greatest material asset, the bounty of the American earth, for humanitarian and constructive reasons.

Finally, it's a manifestation of the undiminished belief that a central human reality, the yearning for basic human rights, that yearning is one of the most powerful and constructive forces in the world, and our support for it is more than just a matter of words.

Thank you very much.

REPORTER. Mr. President, does the Ayatollah's speech offer new hope in the hostage crisis?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, we've observed carefully what has been said in Iran, both today and in the days during the past week. We've learned to be very cautious about statements from Iran, but we'll be monitoring what is going on and analyzing the statement further.

Note: The President spoke at 4:23 p.m. to reporters assembled in the Briefing Room at the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Agricultural Commodity Credit Guarantees to Poland Remarks Announcing Approval of the Commodity Credit Corporation Guarantees. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250959

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