Harry S. Truman photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing the Mutual Defense Assistance Act.

October 06, 1949

I HAVE just signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949. This is a notable contribution to the collective security of the free nations of the world. It is one of the many steps we are taking with other free peoples to strengthen our common defense in furtherance of the principles of international peace and order enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

The dominant objective of our foreign policy is to create peaceful and stable conditions throughout the world, so that men may lead happier and more fruitful lives. This objective cannot, however, be achieved if the economic efforts of free men are overshadowed by the fear of aggression. By strengthening the common defense this act will do much to allay that fear. The security which this act offers will aid in promoting the economic welfare of the free nations and in restoring their confidence in a peaceful and prosperous future.

Since the ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty, the countries of the North Atlantic community have made considerable progress in working together for their mutual security. Their combined activity will do much to increase the effectiveness of the assistance to be provided under this act. Further progress in these arrangements for the common defense will make it possible to provide the full measure of protection which this act offers to this country and other nations.

Recent developments in the field of armaments have strengthened the free nations in their adherence to the principle of a common defense--the principle that underlies this act. By emphasizing the common determination of free nations to protect themselves against the threat or fear of aggression, the Mutual Defense Assistance Act will . strengthen the peace of the world.

This act is necessary only because of the unsettled conditions of the world today which we, in concert with many other nations, are striving to overcome. It is my belief that we shall be successful in these efforts to achieve international understanding and to establish, in accordance with our national policy, effective international control and reduction of armaments, through the United Nations.

Note: The Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949 is Public Law 329 (63 Stat. 714).

See also Items 68, 75, 162, and 188.

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Mutual Defense Assistance Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230137

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