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Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House on the United States Contribution to the U.N. Children's Emergency fund.

February 29, 1952

My dear___________:

I am writing to urge that the Congress complete action on legislation to authorize a United States contribution of $12 million to the United Nations Children's Emergency fund for fiscal year 1952. I ask also that the Congress take steps to authorize additional contributions of up to $12 million in fiscal year 1953.

As you will recall, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted more than a year ago to extend the operation of the Children's fund through December, 1953. For that reason, when the authorization for United States contributions to the fund expired last June 30, I requested authorization of a contribution for the current fiscal year. Legislation for that purpose passed the Senate last session, but is still pending in the House. I earnestly hope that the House will join with the Senate in approving this authorization, so this Government may continue to support the Children's fund. And since the pending legislation covers only the current fiscal year, ending next June 30, I hope the Congress will add authority for additional contributions in the coming fiscal year.

Only if the Congress takes these actions now will we be able to continue financial support for the Children's fund. Only in this way can we honor the decision of the United Nations to keep this important program going until the end of 1953.

I know that the Congress recognizes the good work the Children's fund has done in the past in helping to meet urgent needs of children in many countries around the world. The fund has directly reached at least 42 million children in 64 countries and territories. Its work is closely coordinated with that of the World Health Organization and the food and Agriculture Organization and has provided a vital supplement to their programs. The fund is now placing emphasis on work in the less developed countries, primarily to help them establish permanent programs to aid their children. At the same time, the fund is continuing direct aid to children caught in sudden emergencies like the recent flood in the Po Valley of Italy, or the recent typhoons in the Philippines.

The United States has supported the Children's fund since it was first set up by the United Nations. At its recent meeting in Paris, the General Assembly of the United Nations urgently requested all countries to continue their support for the remainder of the fund's existence. This gives us a real opportunity--an opportunity to help children, in many concrete, practical ways. I am confident the people of this country will want to take full advantage of that opportunity. I urge the Congress to act on these authorizations without delay.

Sincerely yours,


Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Alben W. Barkley, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

For the President's statement upon signing the Supplemental Appropriation Act, which provided a contribution from the United States for the United Nations International Children's Emergency fund, see Item 205.

Harry S. Truman, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House on the United States Contribution to the U.N. Children's Emergency fund. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231472

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