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.
  264. Statement by the President on His Forthcoming Meeting With General MacArthur  
October 10, 1950

GENERAL MACARTHUR and I are making a quick trip over the coming weekend to meet in the Pacific.

When I see him I shall express to him the appreciation and gratitude of the people and Government of the United States for the great service which he is rendering to world peace. As Commander in Chief of United Nations forces in Korea, he has been acting for the world organization as well as for us. His mission has been to repel aggression and to restore international peace and security in the area, as called for by the United Nations. He is carrying out his mission with the imagination, courage, and effectiveness which have marked his entire service as one of our greatest military leaders.

I shall discuss with him the final phase of United Nations action in Korea. In this phase, the United Nations command will be working closely with the United Nations Commission which has just been created by the General Assembly and given heavy responsibilities for the establishment of a unified, independent, and democratic Korea.

We must proceed rapidly with our part in the organization of the United Nations relief and reconstruction program in order to give the Korean people a chance to live in peace. Secretary Acheson in his opening address to the General Assembly stressed the importance of this great opportunity to demonstrate the capacity of the world organization to reestablish the economic and social life of Korea, which has suffered cruelly as a result of aggression. The successful accomplishment of this peaceful mission of reconstruction can serve as a pattern for other efforts to improve the lot of people all over the world. The task of reconstruction in Korea will be a heavy one and will require a major effort by the United Nations; the United States will carry on its full share of this load.

The only interest of the United States is to help carry out these great purposes of the United Nations in Korea. We have absolutely no interest in obtaining any special position for the United States in Korea, nor do we wish to retain bases or other military installations in that country. We should like to get our armed forces out and back to their other duties at the earliest moment consistent with the fulfillment of our obligations as a member of the United Nations.

Naturally, I shall take advantage of this opportunity to discuss with General MacArthur other matters within his responsibility.

NOTE: The President met with General of the Army Douglas MacArthur at Wake Island on Sunday, October 15, 1950.
See also Item 268.
 
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.