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Joint Statement Following Discussions With Prime Minister Churchill.

January 09, 1952

THE PRESIDENT and the Prime Minister held four meetings at the White House on January 7 and 8, 1952. The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Anthony Eden, by the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, Lord Ismay, and by the Paymaster-General, Lord Cherwell. The President's advisers included the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, Mr. Charles E. Wilson, and Mr. W. Averell Harriman. The visit of Mr. Churchill and his colleagues also afforded opportunities for a number of informal meetings.

At the end of the talks the President and the Prime Minister issued the following announcement:

During the last two days we have been able to talk over, on an intimate and personal basis, the problems of this critical time. Our discussions have been conducted in mutual friendship, respect and confidence. Each of our Governments has thereby gained a better understanding of the thoughts and aims of the other.

The free countries of the world are resolved to unite their strength and purpose to ensure peace and security. We affirm the determination of our Governments and peoples to further this resolve, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. The strong ties which unite our two countries are a massive contribution to the building of the strength of the free world.

Under arrangements made for the common defense, the United States has the use of certain bases in the United Kingdom. We reaffirm the understanding that the use of these bases in an emergency would be a matter for joint decision by His Majesty's Government and the United States Government in the light of the circumstances prevailing at the time.

We share the hope and the determination that war, with all its modern weapons, shall not again be visited on mankind. We will remain in close consultation on the developments which might increase danger to the maintenance of world peace.

We do not believe that war is inevitable. This is the basis of our policies. We are willing at any time to explore all reasonable means of resolving the issues which now threaten the peace of the world.

The United States Government is in full accord with the views expressed in the joint statement issued in Paris on December 18, 1951, at the conclusion of the Anglo-French discussions. Our two Governments will continue to give their full support to the efforts now being made to establish a European Defense Community, and will lend all assistance in their power in bringing it to fruition. We believe that this is the best means of bringing a democratic Germany as a full and equal partner into a purely defensive organization for European security. The defense of the free world will be strengthened and solidified by the creation of a European Defense Community as an element in a constantly developing Atlantic Community.

Our Governments are resolved to promote the stability, peaceful development, and prosperity of the countries of the Middle East. We have found a complete identity of aims between us in this part of the world, and the two Secretaries of State will continue to work out together agreed policies to give effect to this aim. We think it essential for the furtherance of our common purposes that an Allied Middle East Command should be set up as soon as possible.

As regards Egypt, we are confident that the Four Power approach offers the best prospect of relieving the present tension.

We both hope that the initiative taken by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development will lead to a solution of the Iranian oil problem acceptable to all the interests concerned.

We have discussed the many grave problems affecting our two countries in the Far East. A broad harmony of view has emerged from these discussions; for we recognize that the overriding need to counter the Communist threat in that area transcends such divergencies as there are in our policies toward China. We will continue to give full support for United Nations measures against aggression in Korea until peace and security are restored there. We are glad that the Chiefs of Staff of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France will be meeting in the next few days to consider specific measures to strengthen the security of Southeast Asia.

We have considered how our two countries could best help one another in the supply of scarce materials important to their defense programs and their economic stability. The need of the United Kingdom for additional supplies of steel from the United States, and the need of the United States for supplies of other materials, including aluminum and tin, were examined. Good progress was made. The discussions will be continued and we hope that agreement may be announced shortly.

We have reviewed the question of standardization of rifles and ammunition in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Neither country thinks it wise at this critical time to take the momentous step of changing its rifle. In the interest of economy, both in time and money, we have agreed that the United States and the United Kingdom will continue to rely upon rifles and ammunition now in stock and currently being produced. In the interest however of eventual standardization, we have also agreed that both countries will produce their new rifles and ammunition only on an experimental scale while a common effort is made to devise a rifle and ammunition suitable for future standardization.

The question of the Atlantic Command is still under discussion.

Throughout our talks we have been impressed by the need to strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization by every means within our power and in full accord with our fellow members. We are resolved to build an Atlantic Community, not only for immediate defense, but for enduring progress.

Note: A White House release of January 18, 1952, announced that the United States and the United Kingdom had reached agreement for mutual assistance with respect to scarce materials.

The release stated that the United States would help the United Kingdom meet its serious shortage of steel by supplying 1 million long tons of steel, scrap, and pig iron for purchase during 1952.

In return the United Kingdom agreed to make available during 1952 a total of 20,000 long tons of tin, at $1.18 per pound, and 55,100,000 pounds of aluminum. The agreement stipulated that the aluminum was to be replaced by the United States before the middle of 1953 when the U.S. aluminum expansion program would be in operation.

For joint statement relating to the Atlantic Command see Item 16.

Harry S Truman, Joint Statement Following Discussions With Prime Minister Churchill. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231518

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