Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Kimball, Dan Able, 1896-1970; Finletter, Thomas Knight, 1893-1980; Pace, Frank, 1912-1988; Johnson, Louis Arthur, 1891-1966; Acheson, Dean, 1893-1971; King, Ernest Joseph, 1878-1956; Leahy, William D. (William Daniel), 1875-1959; Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dw
International relations; Truman Doctrine; International relief; United States-Soviet relations; Potsdam Conference, 1945

Longhand Note of President Harry S. Truman, ca. 1952. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

[Undated, 1952]

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Congress: In 1945 on April 12th I became President of the United States. I was very sad at the death of one of our great Presidents, Franklin Roosevelt. But I took over, to the best of my ability. On May 8th 1945 Germany surrendered. In July 1945 a conference was held at Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin. A unified communications system was agreed, a unified financial system was agreed, a political system was agreed so that Germany as a whole could have an administration which would be practical and which would work.

We all agreed to implement the agreements at Teheran, Yalta and Cairo.

The Russians were anxious apparently to have Germany as a whole an operating entity. Later they, the Russians prevented all the agreements from taking effect.

The Teheran agreement between Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill had set a date for the evacuation of American and Russian troops.

Late in 1945, as President, I authorized the Secretary of State, Mr. Byrnes, to remind the Russian Government that we had reached an agreement at Teheran on a date for evacuation of the troops of both countries from Iran.

Again in March 1946 the attention of the Russian Government was called to the fact that the United States expected the withdrawal of both our military forces from Iran. The troops of both nations were withdrawn.

In late 1945 Yugo Slavia informed our representative at Belgrade that Trieste would be held for Yugo Slavia.

As Commander-in-Chief, I called in General Marshall, Chief of Staff, General Eisenhower, Commander of our European forces, Admiral Leahy, my Chief of Staff and Adm. King, Chief of Naval Operations.

We discussed the situation. I ordered the Mediterranean Fleet to the Adriatic, told Gen. Ike to move three divisions to North Italy and await results. We had no more trouble with the great Adriatic seaport.

In 1947 the British told us that they could no longer do what they had been doing in Greece and Turkey. We took over and the so-called Truman Doctrine came out of it. That meant that we would prevent Russia from making more satellites.

On May 8, 1947, Mr. Acheson made a speech at Cleveland Mississippi which I was supposed to make on the European and world situation. In June General Marshall followed the policy of the Cleveland Mississippi speech in more elaborate form at Harvard. These two speeches caused the Marshall Plan.

The Marshal Plan was meant for the economic rehabilitation of the world destroyed by the Axis Powers. It started in Europe, but since has gone around the world.

The Kremlin, of course, did not want to see this course of action a success. Every obstacle possible was placed in our way to prevent success. The Bolshevics fomented a rebellion in Greece, kidnapped over eleven thousand children between the ages of 8 and 14, took them to Russia in order to make Russian Marxists out of them. Those children have not been heard of since.

The Russians have followed the same policy in Berlin. The Lutheran Bishop of Germany lives in the Russian Zone of Berlin. He told me that thousands of German children had been kidnapped by the Russians-and they are never heard from again.

After the Greek episode came Berlin. The Bolshies stopped all communication from the West. A Cabinet and Defense meeting was called and I ordered the airlift to Berlin. It was successful. In June 1950 I was in Missouri for one of my rare visits at home.

One Saturday evening the Secretary of State called me and told me that the North Koreans had marched into South Korea, which had been set up as the Republic of Korea by the United Nations.

The Secretary of State, Mr. Acheson had asked for a meeting of the Security Council to take action. The council met with the Soviets absent. They had set up a boycott. The Council unanimously declared the entrance of South Korea, aggression. Sunday morning I talked again with the Secretary of State after which conversation I ordered the plane to be ready for a take off for Washington at 2 P.M. C.S.T.

On the way to Washington I asked the Secretary of State and his advisors, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air and the four Chiefs of Staff to meet me at Blair House at 7 P.M. for a conference.


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