Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting Report of the National Advisory Board on Mobilization Policy.
[Released June 23, 1951. Dated June 22, 1951]
My dear Mr.____________:
I have received the attached report from the National Advisory Board on Mobilization Policy, which I am forwarding for the information of the Congress.
This is an especially timely report, because two pieces of defense legislation--the tax bill and the Defense Production Act amendments-are about to be considered by the Congress. The Board naturally did not concern itself with the details of this legislation. But I should like to call the attention of the Congress to the main conclusion stated by the Board. The Board unanimously concluded that during the past year "the dangers confronting our national safety and economic stability have in no sense diminished, and that consequently the Congress should as rapidly as possible complete consideration of and take action upon pending legislation relating to the national emergency." The Board unanimously concluded also that "such action as the Congress may take should be for a long enough period of time--which means at least a year--so that the planning and execution of the mobilization program may not be fatally harassed by prolonged nation-wide uncertainty concerning national policy."
I most heartily endorse these conclusions. We do need rapid action by the Congress, and legislation of at least a year's duration--I have recommended two years--in order to carry forward our defense mobilization effort successfully.
I should like to add one point which did not come within the Board's considerations. I have been considerably distressed by some provisions in the defense production bills reported by the Senate and House Banking and Currency Committees. These provisions take the easy way--to relax controls and hope for the best--which is extremely dangerous. All of us should realize that we are in a hard, tough fight with inflation in this country--just as we are in a hard, tough fight with aggression in Korea. A relaxed, soft attitude is an invitation to disaster.
I recommend most strongly that the defense production bills be strengthened by the Congress, so that we can build the defense of our country without undermining the standard of living of our people or weakening the American dollar.
Very sincerely yours,
HARRY S. TRUMAN
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.
The National Advisory Board on Mobilization Policy was established by Executive Order 10224 of March 15, 1951 (3 CFR, 1949-1953 Comp., p. 736). The Board was composed of Charles E. Wilson, Director of Defense Mobilization, who served as Chairman, and 16 other members representing business, labor, and agriculture.
The Board's report, released on June 22, stressed the fact that recent events, both military and economic, had brought to the fore the issue of whether the United States should continue in full force or relax the mobilization efforts begun as a result of the Korean conflict. The report stated that the members of the Board unanimously agreed that the dangers confronting the national safety and economic stability had not diminished and that Congress should take immediate action on pending legislation relating to the national emergency.
The report cautioned against creating too large a military establishment. With regard to industrial mobilization it recommended an increase in productive output of 5 to 7 percent a year. Anticipating inflationary pressures as a result of rapid increase in production, the report recommended price and wage controls, a sound tax policy, control of interest rates and business credit, and a vigorous and effective savings campaign.
The full text of the Board's report is printed in House Document 183 (8nd Cong., 1st sess.).
Harry S. Truman, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting Report of the National Advisory Board on Mobilization Policy. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230225