Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

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Harry S. Truman
1945-1953


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Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.
  54. Statement by the President on the Transportation Problem  
June 7, 1945

ALL TOO FEW realize the transportation difficulties which are now developing and which will
continue well into 1946. It is important that the public understand the situation and at once lend full
cooperation in order that the burden may be minimized.

The transportation performance in mobilizing our victorious in Europe over a period of four long,
difficult years required the effort. The plan of battle now requires that our armies be transferred to
the far Pacific in the very short time of 10 months. We must now complete in 10 months a task
that is only one-third less than the previous job which required nearly 48 months. The
transportation job in the first phase of the war has often been called a "miracle." The job ahead of
us is even bigger.

The facilities for civilian passenger transportation will be greatly reduced. In order to obtain
passenger equipment for troop movements, it will probably be necessary to reduce the capacity of
sleeping car equipment on regular trains by 50 percent. Men in uniform, other than on troop
movements, now comprise about one-third of the passengers on a regular train. If the number of
these travelers in uniform remained constant, a 50 percent reduction in sleeping car capacity on
regular trains would mean that only one out of four of the civilians now using this equipment could
do so in the future. But the number of travelers in uniform will be greatly increased.

In addition, war material moving to the Pacific will be more than twice as much as heretofore. This
tremendous increase must move over the western railroads, which are already loaded to capacity.

Thus the various transportation restrictions will not only be retained but undoubtedly increased.
Those asking for relaxation of the restrictions are asking for the impossible.

The situation requires the cooperation and self-denial of all users of transportation. The speed with
which our men and munitions can be carried to within striking distance of Japan will largely
determine how long the war must continue. I know that every American wants to add his effort to
that of the millions of transportation workers on whom this grave responsibility rests.

Remember, the returning soldier is here for a few days on his way from one conflict to
another.
 
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.