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Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing for an Under Secretary of Defense.

April 02, 1949

TODAY I have signed an enrolled bill which provides for an Under Secretary of Defense. This improvement in the Security Act meets with my hearty approval, since it was one of the proposals for strengthening the National Military Establishment contained in my message to the Congress of March 5, 1949. This act becomes law at a particularly opportune time in that it will permit the new Secretary of Defense and his Under Secretary to begin working together at an early date.

Provision of an Under Secretary is, however, only one of the changes necessary to achieve truly effective organization and management in the Department of Defense. As I indicated in my message to the Congress, amendments of the Security Act should be directed at accomplishing two basic purposes: first, conversion of the National Military Establishment into an executive department, and second, providing the Secretary of Defense with appropriate responsibility and authority, and with civilian and military assistance adequate to fulfill his responsibility.

Note: As enacted, the bill (H.R. 2216) "to amend the National Security Act of 1947 to provide for an Under Secretary of Defense" is Public Law 36, 81st Congress (63 Stat. 30).

Harry S. Truman, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing for an Under Secretary of Defense. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230086

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