Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919; Harrison, Benjamin, 1833-1901; McKinley, William, 1843-1901
Presidents; Newspapers; International relations; Security, International

Unsent Draft Letter from President Harry S. Truman to Arthur Krock, October 7, 1951. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

October 7, 1951

My dear Arthur:

I've just read your column about my security press conference. You give me credit for the responsibility of the men who were the sources of the information about which I talked. I wish that were true.

You see the Generals and the Admirals and the career men in government look upon the occupant of the White House as only a temporary nuisance who soon will be succeeded by another temporary occupant who won't find out what it is all about for a long time and then it will be too late to do anything about it.

You newspaper men have a complex that anyone who tells you of any of your many shortcomings is either ambitious to be a dictator or else he is an ignoramus. But you should take into consideration that we are no longer in the gay nineties of Ben Harrison, William McKinley or Teddy the Rough Rider.

We are faced with the most terrible responsibility that any nation ever faced. From Darius I's Persia, Alexander's Greece, Hadrian's Rome, Victoria's Britain, no nation or group of nations has had our responsibilities. If we could spend one year's military appropriation to develop the Euphrates Valley, the plateau of Ethiopia, the table land of South America-if we could open the Rhine-Danube waterway, the Kiel Canal, the Black Sea Straits to free trade, if Russia would be a good neighbor and use her military expenditures for her own economic development, I would not have to scold the publishers for giving away our military secrets. Wish you'd do a little soul searching and see if at great intervals the President may be right.

The country is yours as well as mine. You find no trouble in suppressing news in which I'm interested. Why can't you do a little safety policing?

Sincerely Harry S. Truman

Personal & confidential

[Envelope] Mr. Arthur Krock New York Times Bureau Washington, D.C.

Personal & confidential Not mailed

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