Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Bennett, Henry G. (Henry Garland), 1886-1951
International development; International economic relations; Foreign aid

Longhand Note of President Harry S. Truman, Not dated. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

The Point IV Program

This program has been consistently misrepresented and misunderstood.

Its name comes from the fourth position on recommendations to the Congress in the Message on the State of the Union at the inauguration of the President in 1949.

A plan had been recommended in 1947 which afterwards became known as the Marshall Plan for the recovery of Europe. Point 4 was intended to improve world economic conditions, without the expenditure of much money on the part of the United States.

In times passed, England, France, Holland, Germany had furnished capital investments for our development, railroads, ranches and other improvements-to the extent of some two hundred billion dollars.

When the two World Wars came along these countries had to cash in and spend their investments in our country. We confiscated the German investments. So that leaves about two hundred billions of dollars in uninvested capital. I am trying to get the people in South America, Africa, Asia, the near east to understand that this two hundred billions can be used for their development, if it won't be confiscated.

There is a plain of 65,000 square miles in Ethiopia that is from 6000 to 8000 ft. above sea level. It is black soil like northern Illinois, Iowa and north Missouri. It can produce food for over hundred million people! We have the same situation in South America, in the Congo and the resources of India haven't been touched. The Mesopotamian Valley can support and feed 20,000,000 people just as it did in Babylonian and Assyrian times.

If Russia would let us we can show her how to support 400 million people instead of 200 million.

What an outlook!

We have projects in Columbia, in Venezuela, Brazil, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey-all of which we want to develop for the benefit of the people in those countries. It is just the opposite of "Colonialism."

We lost our most enthusiastic Point IV man when Dr. Bennett and his assistants were killed in Iran. What a loss to the whole world! But we must go forward. We are in a new era. If world peace comes we are in the greatest era of all history.


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