Harry S. Truman photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing the Mutual Security Act.

October 10, 1951

I HAVE today signed H.R. 5113, the Mutual Security Act of 1951. Under this legislation, the United States will continue to participate in the great collective defense effort of the free nations and to assist free peoples around the world who want to develop and safeguard their freedom and maintain the peace.

This is constructive legislation--hopeful legislation. The amounts authorized are less than I requested but this act will bring substantial help to those who are eager to help themselves. It will enable our free nation partners to continue to increase their contributions to the common defense effort. Their contributions are as important as our own. We must never forget that we are just as dependent upon the efforts of other nations as they are on ours.

This act will mean military equipment for troops who want to be able to defend their homelands if attacked. It will mean raw materials and production equipment for factories that can turn out guns and tanks and planes for the common defense of freedom. It will mean technicians and books, fertilizer and seeds, irrigation pumps and medical supplies, and many other things for people in underdeveloped areas who want to grow in strength and independence. In these and many other ways, this act will mean life and energy for the great collective effort of the free nations to build a better world.

The peoples of the underdeveloped areas of the world want desperately to take fuller advantage of their human and natural resources. We are now supplying material and technical assistance to help them realize these aspirations, and I believe that we should continue to do so. I am thinking particularly of the necessity of supporting the free nations of Asia in their efforts to strengthen the economic foundations of their independence.

There is some misapprehension that the free world is embarked on nothing but an armaments race with the Soviet Empire. This is not the case. What the free world is actually doing is to unleash the constructive forces of human freedom. We are building armaments, of course--we would be fools if we did not. But we are doing far more than that. We are joining with and helping the free nations organize into stronger international associations than ever before. We are helping to restore the productive power of war-shattered countries. We are helping to build up the health, the education, and the welfare of free men all around the world.

In short, we are joining with other peoples to prove by deeds that the way to freedom is the way of peace and human progress.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 5113 is Public Law 165, 82d Congress (65 Stat. 373).

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Mutual Security Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230975

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