Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Annual Budget Message to the Congress for Fiscal Year 1958.

January 16, 1957

To the Congress of the United States:

I am presenting with this message my recommended budget for the United States Government for the fiscal year 1958, which begins next July 1.

This is the fourth budget which I have transmitted to the Congress.

In my first budget message--that for the fiscal year 1955--I emphasized the administration's determination to chart a course toward two important fiscal goals--balanced budgets and tax reductions.

Reductions in spending evidenced in the 1955 budget made possible a large tax reduction and tax reform program.

The 1956 budget was balanced.

The 1957 budget will be balanced.

A balanced budget is proposed for 1958.

I believe this policy of fiscal integrity has contributed significantly to the soundness of our Nation's economic growth and that it will continue to do so during the coming fiscal year.


[Fiscal years. In billions]

1956 1957 1958

actual estimate estimate

Budget receipts $68.1 $70.6 $73.6

Budget expenditures 66.5 68.9 71.8

Budget surplus 1.6 1.7 1.8

This budget is for the first fiscal year of my second term in office. In making plans for the coming year, I have been guided by the following national objectives:

1. Peace, justice, and freedom for our own and other peoples;

2. Powerful armed forces to deter and, if need be, to defeat aggression;

3. A healthy and growing economy with prosperity widely shared;

4. Enhancement of individual opportunity and the well-being of all our people;

5. Wise conservation, development, and use of our great natural resources;

6. Fiscal integrity;

7. A well-balanced choice of programs at home and abroad; and

8. Increasing international trade and investment essential to the growth of the economies of the United States and the rest of the free world.

We have made considerable progress toward these goals. We will continue this progress in the years ahead.


Today, almost 12 years after World War II, the United States has demonstrated that it is possible to sustain a high employment economy independent of war and continually unbalanced Federal budgets. Adjustments to changing economic circumstances have been and are being made successfully. Productivity and living conditions have improved. With sound public and private politics, the prospect for continued economic growth is bright.

Attainment of that goal is possible only with prudent management of the Government's fiscal affairs. Our Federal budget must contribute to the Nation's financial stability and to the preservation of the purchasing power of the dollar. Maintaining a sound dollar requires of us both self-discipline and courage. At a time like the present when the economy is operating at a very high rate and is subject to inflationary pressures, Government clearly should seek to alleviate rather than aggravate those pressures. Government can do its part. But business and labor leadership must earnestly cooperate--or what Government can do in a free society at a time like this will not prevent inflation.

For the Government to do its part in the coming year, taxes must be retained at the present rates so that receipts will exceed budget expenditures and the public debt can be further reduced. The prospective budget surplus in the fiscal year 1958 will reinforce the restraining effect of present credit and monetary policies. The present situation also requires that less pressing expenditure programs must be held back and some meritorious proposals postponed.

Expenditure and appropriation policy.--While taking present economic conditions into consideration, the budget must also reflect the general responsibilities of a Government which will be serving 172 million people in the fiscal year 1958. In the face of continuing threats to world peace, our collective security must be strengthened through alert international policies and a strong defense. Progress toward greater equality of opportunity for all of our people as well as toward a balanced development and conservation of our national resources must go forward. Emphasis must continue upon promoting, through private enterprise, the development and productivity of our economy.

We must move forward in some areas of investment while we hold back in others. For example, the needs for schools, highways, and homes are so urgent that I am proposing to move ahead with programs to help our States, cities, and people undertake such construction at a prudent rate. However, in view of the present active competition for labor, materials, and equipment, I am not recommending some other desirable construction projects, and I have asked the head of each Federal agency to watch closely the timing of construction and to postpone work which can be appropriately put off until a later date.


[Fiscal years. In billions]

1956 1957 1958

Proposed for enactment in this session:

Recommended at this time $56. 7

Proposed for later transmission:

Under existing legislation $0.8 (1)

Under proposed legislation .8 8.6

Total 1. 6 65.3

Enacted prior to this session:

Current authorizations $53.3 60.7

Permanent authorizations 9.9 8.2 8.0

Total 63. 2 70.5 73.3

1 Less than 50 million dollars.

It is also important to hold to a minimum any increase in Government personnel in the coming period. I have directed the heads of the Federal agencies to give renewed emphasis to their efforts in this regard--efforts which have resulted in a net reduction of approximately 240,000 in the civilian work force during the past 4 years. Vacant positions are to be filled by new employment only if careful review by each agency has demonstrated that the positions cannot be abolished or filled by transfer. All proposals which might produce higher Federal payrolls in the future will be critically examined and evaluated.

Continuation of balanced budgets into the future requires that the total of new authority to incur obligations, as well as the budget expenditures for the year, should be less than the total of realistically anticipated budget receipts. This policy of controlling budget authorizations, which has been followed since the beginning of this administration, has helped us move from a budget deficit of 9.4 billion dollars in the fiscal year 1953 to balanced budgets in 1956, 1957, and 1958.

In this budget the total of new authority proposed for 1958 is 73.3 billion dollars, 279 million dollars less than estimated budget receipts. Of the total recommended new authority, specific action by this session of the Congress will be necessary for 65.3 billion dollars. Other new authority, such as that for paying interest on the public debt, will become available under previously enacted permanent authorizations.

The total amount of new obligational authority recommended for the fiscal year 1958 is 2.8 billion dollars greater than the present estimates for 1957. Budget expenditures are estimated to increase by 2.9 billion dollars to a total of 71.8 billion dollars in 1958. These estimates include my proposals for new legislation as well as present programs.

For both new obligational authority and expenditures, about seven-tenths of the estimated increase between 1957 and 1958 is for the military functions of the Department of Defense, reflecting the higher costs of producing, operating, and maintaining the complex new weapons and equipment being delivered in growing quantities to our defense establishment. Other major increases are for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, including my proposal for aiding school construction, and for the Atomic Energy Commission.

The figures contained in this budget for the fiscal years 1957 and 1958 are not precisely comparable to the actual figures for prior years. Under the provisions of legislation enacted last year, the financial transactions for the greatly expanded Federal-aid highway program are included in a self-liquidating trust fund and are not in the budget totals.

Revenue policy.--It is my firm belief that tax rates are still too high and that we should look forward to further tax reductions as soon as they can be accomplished within a sound budget policy. Reductions in tax rates would give relief to taxpayers and would also release funds for the activity and investment necessary for sustained economic growth through private initiative. However, the reduction of tax rates must give way under present circumstances to the cost of meeting our urgent national responsibilities.

For the present, therefore, I ask for continuation for another year of the existing excise tax rates on tobacco, liquor, and automobiles, which, under present law, would be reduced next April 1. I must also recommend that the present corporate tax rates be continued for another year. It would be neither fair nor appropriate to allow excise and corporate tax reductions to be made at a time when a general tax reduction cannot be undertaken.

In the area of taxation, I am especially interested in the problems of small business. Last August the Cabinet Committee on Small Business made a series of carefully considered recommendations in this field. Some relief in the tax burden affecting small business, as recommended by that Committee, which will give help with a minimum loss of revenue should have early consideration by the Congress. Any changes involving substantial loss of revenue should be considered at a later time when a general tax reduction is possible.

The present estimates of budget receipts for 1958 are based on the assumption that the Nation will continue to have a high level of business activity with increasing national income, and that the present tax rates will be continued. They are the best estimates we can make at this time, but, since they relate to a period 6 to 18 months away, significant changes may take place before the fiscal year 1958 is ended.


[Fiscal years. In billions]

1956 actual 1957 estimate 1958 estimate

Individual income taxes $35. 3 $38. 5 $41. 0

Corporation income taxes 21. 3 21. 4 22. 0

Excise taxes 1 10.0 9.2 8.9

Other taxes1 2.2 2.5 2.6

Miscellaneous receipts 3.0 3.0 3.3

Refunds of receipts (--) -3.7 -3.9 -4.2

Total 68.1 70. 6 73.6

1 Net of transfers to trust funds.

Debt policy.--The budget surplus for the fiscal year 1956 of 1.6 billion dollars was used to reduce the public debt. This budget provides for further reductions in the public debt for the current fiscal year and for the fiscal year 1958.

The successive reductions in the debt from 1956 through 1958 are modest in relation to its total size. Nevertheless, I hope that these reductions, plus the collection of corporation tax payments on a more nearly current basis (as provided by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954), will make it unnecessary to ask the Congress again for a temporary increase in the legal limit of 275 billion dollars to cover seasonal borrowing during the coming fiscal year.


[Fiscal years. In billions]

1956 actual 1957 estimate 1958 estimate

Public debt at start of year $274. 4 $272.8 $270. 6

Change due to budget surplus(--) -1.6 -1.7 -1.8

Change due to other factors (1) -1. 5 + .4

Public debt at close of year 272. 8 270. 6 269. 2

1 Less than 50 million dollars.

The reduction in the public debt in the fiscal year 1957 is estimated to be larger than the budget surplus for that year, mainly because it is anticipated that some expenditures during the year can be financed by drawing down the amount of cash the Government has on hand.

For the fiscal year 1958, the reduction in the public debt will not be as much as the budget surplus. This situation results primarily from the fact that, in the aggregate, the trust funds are expected to draw down the amount of uninvested cash held for them by the Treasury.

Receipts from and payments to the public.--The restraint on inflationary pressures which will be exerted by the budget surplus in the fiscal year 1958 will be reinforced by net accumulations in the trust funds which the Government administers. These trust fund accumulations, such as those for highways and for old-age and survivors and disability insurance, are the excess of current receipts over current payments. They constitute reserves for future use which are invested in Government securities.

When the Government's budget transactions are consolidated with trust fund and other transactions to give a picture of the flow of money between the public and the Government as a whole, the receipts from the public are estimated to exceed payments to the public by 3 billion dollars in the fiscal year 1958.


[Fiscal years. In billions]

1956 1957 1958

actual estimate estimate

Receipts from the public $77. 1 $81. 7 $85. 9

Payments to the public 72. 6 78. 2 82.9

Excess of receipts from

the public 4.5 3.5 3.0

The decline between the fiscal years 1956 and 1957 in the excess of receipts from the public results mainly from the estimated withdrawal of cash from the Treasury by the International Monetary Fund in 1957. The cash payments are made as the Treasury redeems the notes which were part of the United States subscription to the Fund. This subscription was made in the fiscal year 1947 and is therefore not part of current budget expenditures.

The excess of receipts from the public is estimated to be still lower in 1958 mainly because of higher net payments from trust funds.


By far the largest part of the budget for the coming fiscal year, 63 percent, will be devoted to maintaining and improving our own defenses and to strengthening the defenses and economies of other nations in the interest of collective security and world peace. Civil benefits will account for 24 percent of budget expenditures; interest, 10 percent; and all other operations, administration, and contingencies, 3 percent.


[Fiscal years. In billions]

1956 actual 1957 estimate 1958 estimate

Protection, including collective

security $42. 4 $42.7 $45.3

Civil benefits 15.3 16.5 16.9

Interest 6.8 7.3 7.4

Civil operations and administration 2.0 2.3 1.8

Allowance for contingencies .2 .4

Total 66.5 68.9 71.8

Protection, including collective security.--As a simple matter of self-preservation, we must maintain our own strength and promote world stability by helping to build up the strength of friendly nations. At the same time, we must actively advance our other efforts for lasting peace and inform the world in all appropriate ways of our peaceful aims.

The new and more powerful weapons which are being delivered to our Armed Forces in increasing quantities and varieties are much more costly to produce, operate, and maintain than the weapons they are replacing. Furthermore, we are now engaged in the development of a whole new family of even more advanced weapons for all the services. Large expenditures will be required to bring these weapons into use. During the transition, we must continue to purchase enough of the current types to preserve our readiness until the effectiveness of the advanced weapons is demonstrated in tests. Despite these upward pressures on expenditures, future defense costs must be held to tolerable levels. Effective action must be taken to improve efficiency and to maintain a proper balance between expenditures for future military strength and expenditures for current readiness.


[Fiscal years. In billions]

Major national security programs: 1956 actual 1957 estimate 1958 estimate

Department of Defense--military functions $35.8 $36.0 $38.0

Mutual security program--military 2.6 2.6 2.6

Atomic Energy Commission 1.7 1.9 2.3

Stockpiling and defense production

expansion .6 .4 .4

Subtotal 40.6 41.0 43.3

Related programs:

Mutual security program--economic,

technical, and other 1.6 1.5 1.8

United States Information Agency .1 .1 .1

Federal Civil Defense Administration .1 .1 .1

Selective Service System

Subtotal 1.8 1.7 2.0

Total 42.4 42.7 45.3

The introduction of new equipment and weapons with vastly greater combat capability is also having a powerful impact on concepts of military strategy, tactics, and organization. The combat power of our divisions, wings, and warships has increased to such an extent that it is no longer valid to measure military power in terms of the number of such units.

I have given careful consideration to the many complex factors which enter into the development of a well-balanced military structure. I am convinced that the defense programs and funds for their support as recommended in this budget provide a wise and reasonable degree of protection for the Nation.

Our nuclear weapons and our ability to employ them constitute the most effective deterrent to an attack on the free nations. We shall continue to expand our nuclear arsenal until an agreement has been reached for reduction and regulation of armaments under safeguarded inspection guaranties.

At the same time, we are increasing the portion of the production of fissionable materials allocated to peaceful uses at home and abroad and we look forward to the day when all production may be used for peaceful purposes. This budget provides for increased effort on power reactor development and on new uses of atomic energy in biology, medicine, agriculture, and industry. It will also make possible greater sharing of our peaceful atomic energy developments with other nations through the atoms-for-peace program.

World events continue to demonstrate the value of our programs of mutual assistance. Continued assistance, both military and economic, to friendly nations will provide the essential margin beyond their own resources needed to support and strengthen their defenses and their economies. The intensified worldwide conflict of ideas also requires a further increase in our programs of international information.


[Fiscal years. In billions]

1956 actual 1957 estimate 1958 estimate

Additions to Federal assets $3.5 $3.0 $3.4

Long-range development 2.0 1.8 2.3

Current expense items 9.7 11.7 11.

Total 15.3 16.5 16.9

Civil benefits.--During the past 4 years, the Government has acted affirmatively to advance the everyday well-being of our people by helping to improve their economic opportunities, helping to provide safeguards against economic and physical hazards, and helping to build needed public assets. The Government's leadership in assisting the people to satisfy their own needs has been so exercised that steady progress has taken place without paternalistic interference.

In the fiscal year 1958 we shall continue to move forward with many civil benefit programs already established by law.

To aid agriculture in its adjustments to new technologies and to changed world production and consumption patterns, the soil bank program will help reduce the production of surplus crops. Additional marketing research and service activities will develop new markets and new uses for our farm products. Watershed protection, aid to low-income farmers, and assistance in overcoming the problems of drought, wind erosion, and floods will be expanded.

The Federal Government is assisting the States and private enterprise to make major advances in our transportation system. Traffic control on our airways is being continually improved as new equipment is developed and becomes available. Orderly replacement by private shipping lines of the merchant ships built during World War II is underway. Through grants paid from the highway trust fund, the States, in partnership with the Federal Government, are beginning a 13-year program to complete construction of the Interstate Highway System.

Under the urban renewal program, which combines Federal, local, and private efforts, 41 urban renewal projects will have been completed by the close of the fiscal year 1958, and 531 more will be in various stages of planning or construction. Private financing of housing for military families, elderly families, cooperatives, and other groups having special difficulties in obtaining homes will be encouraged by special mortgage insurance and mortgage purchase programs.

Over the 3-year period, 1955 through 1957, nearly 400 new water-resource projects for flood control, navigation, irrigation, power, and water supply will have been started and about onehalf of these projects will still be under construction in 1958. Because of the need for continued and orderly development of our resources, I recommend that construction be started at a modest rate in 1958 on some new projects for which planning is well advanced. Funds for initiating immediately the planning of new public works projects which the Congress is expected to authorize are also included in this budget.

Increased expenditures will be made for sound programs of health research and grants for hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic and rehabilitation centers.

Legislative recommendations for new civil benefits involving major expenditures are being confined to needs of the highest priority and will be discussed later in this message.

Interest.--Expenditures for interest are estimated to rise 100 million dollars to 7.4 billion dollars in the fiscal year 1958, despite reductions in the public debt in 1956, 1957, and 1958. The increase in interest charges is due to refinancing securities maturing during the coming year at the higher rates of interest which reflect the heavy demand for credit and capital throughout our prosperous economy.

Civil operations and administration.--Expenditures for the remaining operations of the Government are estimated to be 1.8 billion dollars in the fiscal year 1958, an amount 425 million dollars less than in 1957 and 185 million dollars less than in 1956. The decreases occur primarily because certain payments heretofore made by the Civil Service Commission and the Treasury Department will be charged to the appropriations of the several agencies in accordance with legislation enacted last year. These are the payments which the Government, as employer, makes to the civil service retirement fund and those which it makes for certified bills presented too late for payment in the regular way. This improved accounting procedure shows with greater accuracy the total cost of various agency programs and is responsible for part of the increase shown in the expenditures for protection and civil benefits.

Allowance for contingencies.--Sound budgeting requires that some general provision be made for contingencies which may arise in the coming period. This is especially important today, in view of uncertain world conditions. The Congress is not being asked to appropriate for purposes not known. This item makes allowance in the budget totals for probable future requests, including those to cover the cost of some legislative proposals for which the timing of expenditures is uncertain. As the needs arise, and as new legislation is passed, a specific request for funds will be made in each case. The amount allowed for expenditures is 400 million dollars, slightly over one-half of 1 percent of total budget expenditures estimated for 1958.

Management improvement.--The administration is constantly striving to improve the management of Government. Vigorous measures to increase efficiency have shown results in many Government operations.

In the Veterans Administration, for example, the staff in nonmedical activities has been reduced by 10,000 in the past 4 years. Some of this reduction was made possible because of smaller numbers of insurance and readjustment payments, but most of the reduction in staff reflects better procedures, including extensive mechanization of operations.

In the overseas supply activities of the Department of Defense, new procedures employing faster communications and better transportation service have been established. These improved methods of supplying overseas units substantially reduce inventory requirements and thus save both capital investment and costs of handling.

In the Post Office Department, despite an 11 percent rise in the volume of mail in the 4 fiscal years 1954 through 1957, the average employment will have increased only a little more than 3 per cent. This is concrete evidence of the value of new methods, organization, and equipment.

After intensive reviews of their real property holdings, Government agencies over the past 3 fiscal years have transferred excess property costing over 131 million dollars to other agencies, thus reducing the volume of purchases needed by those agencies to meet new requirements. In addition, surplus real property worth 366 million dollars, including almost all of the Government-owned synthetic rubber plants, has been sold, thus putting most of this property on the tax rolls.

In accordance with the recommendations of the second Hoover Commission, an Office of Accounting has been established in the Bureau of the Budget to help the Federal agencies to improve further their financial management and, in that connection, to put into effect the principles of accrual accounting and cost-based budgeting approved in legislation enacted last year. Modern accrual accounting will make possible better management through improved information needed to control costs.


This year I discussed only a few of the administration's legislative recommendations in the State of the Union message. Therefore, this part of the budget message is devoted to a discussion of other major proposals for legislation on which I recommend that the Congress take action during the present session. The legislative program is one on which the Congress and the executive agencies should be able to work together successfully.

In the course of the next few months the administration will recommend to the Congress a number of important legislative proposals. In the immediate future, I shall forward a message emphasizing the urgency of enactment of an adequate program of Federal aid for school construction, and a message on my proposals for amendment of our immigration laws. In connection with the administration's proposals on education, this budget provides for the start of a 4-year program of aid for school construction.

Two areas need earnest and prompt attention with a view to determining whether new national policies should be adopted in the light of reports and recommendations now pending in the Congress. These are numerous detailed recommendations of the second Hoover Commission which the committees were unable to consider prior to adjournment of the 84th Congress and the proposals made by the Advisory Committee on Transport Policy and Organization. Legislation to carry out the recommendations of the Committee was the subject of hearings during the last Congress. Because of the importance of strengthening our transportation system, these hearings should be completed in the present session. Proposals for legislation will again be submitted by the Secretary of Commerce.

Substantial budget increases are recommended for existing activities which will improve the health of the American people. The Congress is also urged to enact legislation under which the Federal Government can help the medical and dental schools to build more and better teaching, as well as research, facilities to prevent the already acute shortage of trained medical manpower from becoming critical. It is also time to enact the necessary statutory basis for expansion and improvement of voluntary health insurance plans under which smaller insurance companies and nonprofit associations could pool their resources and experience.

In the welfare field, additional funds are likewise provided in the budget, and the Congress is urged to enact a new program of grants to the States to help fight juvenile delinquency.

In recent years, a succession of legislative enactments has moved a long way toward the goal of universal social security coverage, but there are a number of collateral steps which will add much to the meaning of our social security system as a whole. In part, these steps can be taken by budgetary action, for example, by giving particular attention to the needs of the rapidly increasing number of older persons in our society. Other steps will require legislation. First, the unemployment insurance system should be extended and improved. Similarly, congressional action is recommended to extend the Fair Labor Standards Act to additional workers. The Secretary of Labor will make recommendations on this act when hearings are held by the committees of the Congress. The Federal 8-hour laws should be revised and brought up to date and legislation should be enacted to assure equal pay for equal work. A modest program of grants under which the States can increase their efforts to improve occupational safety should be initiated. Likewise, legislation should be enacted to require the registration of employee pension and welfare funds to protect the interests of beneficiaries.

Of particular importance are recommendations to protect and foster the initiative of the small businessman. The Small Business Act should be extended. In order that small business may have better opportunity to secure adequate financing, issues of securities up to 500 thousand dollars should be exempted from the regular registration provisions of the Securities Act of 1933. Similarly, the Congress should enact legislation providing for notification to the Federal Government of proposed business mergers, and should amend the procedural provisions of the antitrust laws to facilitate their enforcement. Wage reporting for income tax and social security purposes should be consolidated and simplified. Other means of assisting small business will be discussed in the Economic Report.

I repeat my recommendation of last year for the prompt enactment of appropriate authority under which communities can be assisted in solving basic problems of persistent unemployment.

At the present time, I do not contemplate proposing an extensive program of personnel legislation comparable to the numerous constructive measures enacted in the last several years. Certain needed improvements in central personnel management are discussed in the general government section of my budget analysis. All of these measures deserve early attention and enactment by the Congress. In addition, the Secretary of Defense is now studying recommendations of his Advisory Committee on Professional and Technical Compensation. Any legislative recommendations growing out of the work of this committee respecting personnel policies and compensation systems of the military services will be presented at a later time.

We should not let another year go by without taking the necessary action to place the Post Office on a pay-as-you-go fiscal basis. The case for adjusting postal rates needs no further justification. It is supported by a vast majority of the general public as well as by most of the business community. The administration has demonstrated its capacity for improving the postal service, installing new and more efficient methods and equipment, and cutting costs in accordance with good business practice. The Congress should take the further action needed to reduce the huge postal deficit. Then the further improvements needed in equipment and facilities can be made so that the American people may receive the mail service they deserve and have the right to expect.

Various agencies are being asked to review with the Congress the interest rates charged by the Government in connection with different kinds of loans, several of which have a fixed statutory maximum established when interest costs were much lower than today. It is desirable that there be more consistency and that more discretion be allowed in determining what going rates should be, dependent on the period of the loans and their conditions.

Recommendations concerned with proposed legislative changes in our housing laws will be found in the section of my budget analysis carrying the heading "Commerce and housing."

With respect to farm legislation, certain changes are being recommended in the corn program. Farmers who use all the wheat grown on their own farms for seed, feed, or food should be exempt from marketing quotas and penalties. The basic authority for disposal of surplus farm commodities for foreign currencies, title I of Public Law 480 of the 83d Congress, should be extended for 1 year and an additional 1 billion dollars of authorization for losses under this title should be provided. Legislation should also be enacted authorizing the barter of nonstrategic Government-owned agricultural surpluses to the nations of Eastern Europe.

The program of the administration in the field of natural resources is fully set forth in that section of the budget analysis. It will not be repeated here, except to indicate my continuing firm support of the necessary legislative action to enable Federal agencies to participate more fully with States, local governments, and private groups in the development of partnership resources projects. I urge once again the prompt enactment of legislation which will enable the Fryingpan-Arkansas multiple-purpose project to get underway in the fiscal year 1958.

I also recommend prompt action by the Congress to decide how the Niagara power project can best be developed.

In returning the Harris-Fulbright natural gas bill to the 84th Congress without my approval, I stated that legislation conforming to the basic objectives of that bill was needed. I am still of that opinion. It is essential that consumers of natural gas be protected. We must endeavor to make sure that there will be continued exploration and development of adequate field supplies of gas, and that producers' sales prices are arrived at fairly and competitively. In this way, and with authority vested in the Federal Power Commission to regulate interstate pipelines as to the price at which gas may be charged as an item of cost in fixing their rates, the price to the public will be fair. Legislation freeing gas producers from public utility-type regulation is essential if the incentives to find and develop new supplies of gas are to be preserved and sales of gas to interstate markets are not to be discouraged to the detriment of both consumers and producers, as well as the national interest.

The Congress is urged to carry out the proposals of the Judicial Conference for additional Federal judges. Also, when a district or circuit court judge who is the senior judge of the district or circuit becomes 70 and chooses not to retire, he should be relieved of his administrative duties. Furthermore, whenever a district court judge reaches 70 and chooses not to retire, the Congress should provide that upon certification by the Judicial Conference of the need therefor, the President would be authorized to appoint an additional judge. When the judge who had reached 70 dies or retires, the vacancy thus created would not be filled.

Although it is not within my province to make any recommendation, I am deeply interested in the suggestion which has been made that the Congress should consider inviting the Chief Justice of the United States to address the Congress annually on the work of the judiciary and to present the recommendations of the Judicial Conference.

I recommend again that the Congress enact suitable legislation providing for home rule in the District of Columbia. Under any such system the citizens of the District should be authorized to elect local officials, to vote in Federal elections, and to have a delegate in the House of Representatives.

I also recommend the enactment of legislation admitting Hawaii into the Union as a State, and that, subject to area limitations and other safeguards for the conduct of defense activities so vitally necessary to our national security, statehood also be conferred upon Alaska.

The platforms of both major parties have advocated an amendment of the Constitution to insure equal rights for women. believe that the Congress should make certain that women are not denied equal rights with men. Similarly, I believe that the Congress should propose a constitutional amendment lowering the voting age in Federal elections.

As has already been indicated in the State of the Union message, continuation of military and economic assistance to the free nations of the world is a keystone of the administration's efforts to promote peace, collective security, and well-being for all peoples. Essential complements of these assistance programs are steps to increase international trade and investment. Both can be materially advanced by taking the actions necessary to avoid unfair tax duplications on business conducted overseas and by the prompt enactment of legislation approving United States membership in the proposed Organization for Trade Cooperation. This administrative agency will greatly aid the orderly operation of existing arrangements governing multilateral trade to help prevent discrimination and restrictions against our foreign commerce.

Although necessity forces us to keep ever in mind the destructive power of nuclear weapons, it is equally essential that we keep in mind the firm determination of the United States to share the fruits of its efforts to develop the peaceful uses for atomic energy. Seventy-two nations have now signed the charter of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was established under the auspices of the United Nations. Prompt action by the Congress is needed to authorize full participation by the United States in the work of this Agency. The United States has offered for distribution through this Agency 5,000 kilograms of fissionable uranium 235 out of the 20,000 kilograms previously offered for atomic research and power uses in other nations, as part of our atoms-for-peace program.

The analysis of the budget discusses present programs for veterans. A special message recommending changes needed in these programs will be transmitted to the Congress.

The remaining items to which special attention should be directed are (1) authorization to the President to make awards for distinguished civilian achievement, (2) establishment of a Federal Advisory Commission on the Arts, (3) acquisition and maintenance of an official residence for the Vice President, and (4) amendment of the Government Corporation Control Act to provide for budget and audit control over Government corporations which are authorized, directly or indirectly, to obtain or utilize Federal funds. It is also recommended that the Congress give further consideration to legislation which would place Government appropriations on an accrued expenditure basis.

The other proposals which are parts of the administration's legislative program are discussed in my analysis of the budget. The fact that they are not included in this summary presentation in no way detracts from their importance or the strength of my recommendation that they be considered and enacted by the Congress in its present session.


I am presenting my budgetary recommendations in greater detail under nine major program headings in the analysis of the budget which follows this message. The Economic Report will contain a further discussion of some of these proposals.

It is always difficult to make plans and forecast expenditures a year or more in advance. This is particularly true when historic events are taking place in Eastern Europe, when United Nations forces are deployed in the Middle East, when uncertainties abound in other parts of the world, and when in our own land economic change is continuous. This budget has taken into account present conditions and developments which today appear most likely at home and abroad. It provides funds for all necessary Government activities on a reasonable scale, and efforts will continue to be made by every executive department and agency to improve efficiency and to maintain expenditures well within the budget estimates. It is a carefully balanced budget-balanced in its receipts and expenditures, balanced in its choice of programs. I consider it well adapted to the needs of the present and the future.


Note: As printed above, the following have been deleted: (1) illustrative diagrams; (2) footnotes referring to tables and special analyses appearing in the budget proper.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Annual Budget Message to the Congress for Fiscal Year 1958. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233353

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives