Harry S. Truman photo

The President's Toast at a State Dinner for President Auriol of France.

March 28, 1951

I HAVE a pleasant duty to perform in presenting you with this decoration. We know that you deserve it, and we hope you will wear it with pleasure.

[Reading citation] "The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 20, 1942, has awarded the Legion of Merit, Degree of Chief-Commander, to His Excellency Vincent Auriol, President of the French Republic and Commander in Chief of her armed forces, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service.

"His Excellency Vincent Auriol, President of the French Republic, and Commander in Chief of her armed forces since January 1947, has displayed unswerving friendship to the United States and to the ideals held by all democratic nations, and has done much to assure the success of these ideals. His constant aim in stimulating the historical bonds of close friendship between France and the United States, and his strong backing of a mutual, progressive and liberal foreign policy, have presented the rest of the world with the guiding example of continuing cooperation between the Republic of France and the United States of America." Signed by the President, and dated at the White House.

I drink a toast to His Excellency the President of France, to the first official visit that any President of France has ever paid to the United States.

NOTE: The President proposed the toast at 10 p.m. at the Carlton Hotel in Washington. The text of President Auriol's response was not released.

Harry S. Truman, The President's Toast at a State Dinner for President Auriol of France. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230344

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