Harry S. Truman photo

Statement by the President on the Second Anniversary of the Signing of the North Atlantic Treaty.

April 03, 1951

ON THE second birthday of the North Atlantic Treaty it is appropriate that we take stock of our progress.

The most encouraging fact which stands out today is that Europe is stronger and in a better position to defend itself than it was a year ago.

This stems from the determination of the free peoples of Europe to help themselves. Their determination as well as their strength has been increased by the assistance which we have been able to give them. Even more important, our joint efforts have acquired greater effectiveness through the establishment of General Eisenhower's unified command. For the first time in history there exists in peace an integrated international force whose object is to maintain peace through strength. Six years ago General Eisenhower led such a force to victory, but we devoutly pray that our present course of action will succeed and maintain peace without war.

The armed forces of the North Atlantic Treaty countries will grow more rapidly in the future as stepped-up training and production programs begin to bear fruit. An enormous military production program is underway in the United States, and our allies, despite limited facilities and resources, have already more than doubled their rate of military production.

Just as important as the forces which we are building together is the spirit of cooperation and joint effort which has been greatly strengthened. This is a solid achievement which will bring rewards of happiness and prosperity to our peoples long after the passing of the present emergency.

The events of the past 2 years have proved beyond question the wisdom of the course we adopted in signing the North Atlantic Treaty. Developments since the war have made it more clear than ever before that no nation can find safety behind its own frontiers-that the only security lies in collective security.

While we have reason to take pride in our accomplishments, we cannot forget that the road ahead is still long and hard. The people of the United States and the people of Europe must accept heavy burdens., with both determination and patience. I am confident that we will march forward together, with speed and vigor. Above all, I feel certain that we will not relax the great effort which is now underway.

Note: For the President's address on the occasion of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on April 4, 1949, see the 1949 volume, this series, Item 68.

The text of the treaty is printed in the U.S. Statutes at Large (63 Stat. 2241), and in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 20, p. 339).

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President on the Second Anniversary of the Signing of the North Atlantic Treaty. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230377

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