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« on: December 16, 2009, 06:53:09 am »

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"He who controls others maybe powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still. - Lao Tsu

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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 06:53:39 am »

TRUMAN SETS DRIVE Gives Wilson Sweeping Powers, Asks 'Mighty Production Effort' U.S. RALLIES TO CALL Congress Speeds Action-Stand of President Praised in Europe


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Washington, Dec. 16--President Truman proclaimed a state of emergency this morning and delegated many of his own war powers to Charles E. Wilson, the new Mobilization Director. Soon afterward the defense program moved into higher gear.

Today was a day of action in the White House, in Congress and elsewhere in the Government as officials moved to implement the President's declaration to the nation and the world last night that the United States would meet the challenge of communism.

The Economic Stabilization Agency canceled the price increases made by Ford, General Motors and Chrysler in the last few days, and this was merely the harbinger of many new controls that eventually will encompass the entire economy.

Industry evinced its readiness to accept any war production goals, striking railroad men returned to work, and the general response from the public indicated an acceptance of the austerity program suggested by the President.

Proclamation Is Signed

Mr. Truman had pleaded for unity, like past Presidents coping with crises, and as in 1917 and 1941 the country was rallying with vigor.

In the free countries of Western Europe Mr. Truman was applauded for his no- appeasement speech in which he pledged to create an "arsenal of freedom" to strengthen all free countries. From Russia, which the President blamed directly for the postwar troubles of the world, came a typical blast that this country was warmongering.

Mr. Truman took two actions this morning to start a drastic increase of the mobilization program. He signed the proclamation of emergency, which unleashed scores of additional executive powers, and issued an executive order granting virtually blanket authority to Mr. Wilson to carry out all aspects of war production and economic control he deemed necessary. This authority received by Mr. Wilson will be subject in the Executive Branch of the Government only to the veto of President Truman.

Threat to Freedoms Cited

In his proclamation President Truman declared that conquest of the world was the objective of "Communist imperialism." He said this now constituted a threat to the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, to the free enterprise system and to other rights, like collective bargaining, that free people had chosen for themselves.

These were the elements of a "full and rich life" that could be lost by the triumph of the Communist way of life, Mr. Truman said, calling for "a mighty production effort" for defense.

Mr. Truman called for sacrifices, for cooperation by state and local officials, for loyalty to the principles on which the nation was founded, and faith in our friends and allies. He expressed his confidence that the people would not be found wanting in courage and determination.

The President signed the proclamation in his Oval Room office in the Executive Offices of the White House at 10:20 A.M. Only a few members of his staff and photographers were present. His manner was brisk.

He would not pose for "one more" for the "One More Club," as he calls the photographers. They had to catch him in the act of really signing or lose the picture. Usually he will pose over and over again until each photographer gets a proper "shot."

That quickening of a mood was felt generally in the capital. The Senate Armed Services Committee approved a national civil defense program, the Senate Finance Committee met in extraordinary session to work on the excess profits bill and the Economic Stabilization Agency clamped a freeze on automobile prices, the first of many promised controls.

Having taken the necessary legal steps to speed mobilization, Mr. Truman, tired from two weeks of unusually heavy work, but apparently confident and resolute, went aboard the official yacht Williamsburg for an overnight rest. He took along a few friends and will return tomorrow afternoon.

Last week he had conferred daily with Prime Minister Clement Attlee of Great Britain on the Korean war and the larger world crisis. This week he had been in almost continuous session with members of Congress and Administration leaders, charting the course he disclosed in his speech last night.

The executive order spelling out Mr. Wilson's powers and responsibilities appeared to leave out nothing that the industrialist could desire to tackle his job in an untrammeled way. It had been predicted he would get powers exceeding those of James F. Byrnes when Mr. Byrnes was the top mobilizer of World War II, and the document bore this out.

"The director," stated the order, "shall on behalf of the President direct, control, and coordinate all mobilization activities of the executive branch of the Government, including but not limited to production, procurement, manpower, stabilization, and transport activities."

The phrase, "including but not limited to," left open the possibility that other areas of defense activity would be added. The next paragraph, numbered 3, subordinated William H. Harrison, Director of the National Production Authority, and Alan Valentine, Director of the Economic Stabilization Agency, "to the direction and control" of Mr. Wilson.

The fourth paragraph specified that the Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization should report to the President periodically, and established Mr. Wilson's authority over Cabinet members and other heads of Federal agencies where mobilization projects are concerned. Under the original concept of a partial mobilization, geared to what was then believed to be a comparatively small war in Korea, most of the control agencies were dispersed in the Federal departments. For instance, the National Production Administration was placed in the Commerce Department.

Many Powers Are Revived

This fourth paragraph gives Mr. Wilson ascendancy in the control of these dispersed agencies, and he is expected to consolidate them as he gets organized.

Completing the sweeping terms, Mr. Truman in the final paragraph stated that today's order should prevail over any prior executive orders or directives that prove to be inconsistent with it.

Mr. Wilson, who has resigned his $175,000-a-year position as president of the General Electric Company to take the $22,500 job of Director of Defense Mobilization, will have to be confirmed by the Senate before he can begin operating. There, was no doubt on Capitol Hill that he would be confirmed promptly.

The proclamation of emergency, apart from an important psychological effect it is expected to have on the approach of the average citizen to his part in the crisis, revived scores of powers which have been latent. Some of them had been rescinded by Congress in 1947, and some were enacted since then but could be given life only by the proclamation.

Most of them were nominal powers or pertained to particular facilities that had been built or leased by the Government, with the privilege of recapturing them in an emergency like the present. Some of the powers were important and extensive, however, like the broad ones authorizing recapture of the many airfields and plants built during World War II.

But Mr. Truman already had the most critical powers for mobilization, vested in him by the Production Act of 1950, and it was this which he invoked in designating Mr. Wilson as the person who will implement them.

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"He who controls others maybe powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still. - Lao Tsu
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