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Letter to William S. Paley on the Creation of the President's Materials Policy Commission.

January 22, 1951

[Released January 22, 1951. Dated January 19, 1951]

Dear Mr. Paley:

I am very pleased that you have agreed to serve as the Chairman of the President's Materials Policy Commission.

As you and I have discussed, this Commission within the Executive Office of the President is to study the broader and longer range aspects of the nation's materials problem as distinct from the immediate defense needs. I hope the Commission can report to me within the next six to nine months.

This is one of the crucial problems facing the nation. By wise planning and determined action we can meet our essential needs for military security, civilian welfare, and the continued economic growth of the United States. We cannot allow shortages of materials to jeopardize our national security nor to become a bottleneck to our economic expansion. The task of the Commission, therefore, will be to make an objective inquiry into all major aspects of the problem of assuring an adequate supply of production materials for our long-range needs and to make recommendations which will assist me in formulating a comprehensive policy on such materials.

I believe the Commission should study, together with any other aspects deemed by it to be pertinent, such questions relating to production materials as:

(1) The long-range requirements outlook.

(2) The long-range supply outlook.

(3) The prospect and estimated extent of shortages.

(4) The consistency and adequacy of existing Government policies, plans and programs.

(5) The consistency and adequacy of private industry practices.

In analyzing these items consideration should be given to the needs and resources of the nations with which the United States is cooperating closely on military security and economic matters.

In formulating final recommendations, your Commission should take into account all possible methods of bringing supplies and requirements of essential materials into balance.

The Commission will enjoy the cooperation of all agencies of Government whose functions and interests relate to your assignment. And of course you will want to solicit the cooperation of private industry. Although the Commission will organize its own regular staff and secretariat, it may call upon other agencies for any special staff assistance which may be needed. The direct expenses of the Commission and its immediate staff will be defrayed from the appropriation Emergencies (National Defense) 1951.

Very sincerely yours,


[Mr. William S. Paley, President, Columbia Broadcasting System, New York, New York.]

Note: The President's letter was made public as part of a White House release announcing the establishment of the Commission and listing the following as members: William S. Paley, Chairman, George Rufus Brown, Eric Hodgins, Arthur H. Bunker, and Edward S. Mason.

Harry S Truman, Letter to William S. Paley on the Creation of the President's Materials Policy Commission. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230573

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