We have no question of the ultimate victory. We have no question of
the cost. Our losses will be heavy.
We and our allies will go on fighting together to ultimate total
We have seen a year marked, on the whole, by substantial progress
toward victory, even though the year ended with a set-back for our
arms, when the Germans launched a ferocious counterattack into
Luxemburg and Belgium with the obvious objective of cutting our line
in the center.
Our men have fought with indescribable and unforgettable gallantry
under most difficult conditions, and our German enemies have
sustained considerable losses while failing to obtain their
The high tide of this German effort was reached 2 days after
Christmas. Since then we have reassumed the offensive, rescued the
isolated garrison at Bastogne, and forced a German withdrawal along
the whole line of the salient. The speed with which we recovered
from this savage attack was largely possible because we have one
supreme commander in complete control of all the Allied armies in
France. General Eisenhower has faced this period of trial with
admirable calm and resolution and with steadily increasing success.
He has my complete confidence.
Further desperate attempts may well be made to break our lines, to
slow our progress. We must never make the mistake of assuming that
the Germans are beaten until the last Nazi has surrendered.
And I would express another most serious warning against the
poisonous effects of enemy propaganda.
The wedge that the Germans attempted to drive in western Europe was
less dangerous in actual terms of winning the war than the wedges
which they are continually attempting to drive between ourselves and
Every little rumor which is intended to weaken our faith in our
allies is like an actual enemy agent in our midst--seeking to
sabotage our war effort. There are, here and there, evil and
baseless rumors against the Russians--rumors against the British--rumors
against our own American commanders in the field.
When you examine these rumors closely, you will observe that every
one of them bears the same trade-mark--"Made in Germany."
We must resist this divisive propaganda--we must destroy it-- with
the same strength and the same determination that our fighting men
are displaying as they resist and destroy the panzer divisions.
In Europe, we shall resume the attack and--despite temporary
setbacks here or there--we shall continue the attack relentlessly
until Germany is completely defeated.
It is appropriate at this time to review the basic strategy which
has guided us through 3 years of war, and which will lead,
eventually, to total victory.
The tremendous effort of the first years of this war was directed
toward the concentration of men and supplies in the various theaters
of action at the points where they could hurt our enemies most.
It was an effort--in the language of the military men--of deployment
of our forces. Many battles--essential battles--were fought; many
victories--vital victories--were won. But these battles and these
victories were fought and won to hold back the attacking enemy, and
to put us in positions from which we and our allies could deliver
the final, decisive blows.
In the beginning our most important military task was to prevent our
enemies--the strongest and most violently aggressive powers that
ever have threatened civilization--from winning decisive victories.
But even while we were conducting defensive, delaying actions, we
were looking forward to the time when we could wrest the initiative
from our enemies and place our superior resources of men and
materials into direct competition with them.
It was plain then that the defeat of either enemy would require the
massing of overwhelming forces--ground, sea, and air--in positions
from which we and our allies could strike directly against the enemy
homelands and destroy the Nazi and Japanese war machines.
In the case of Japan, we had to await the completion of extensive
preliminary operations--operations designed to establish secure
supply lines through the Japanese outer-zone defenses. This called
for overwhelming sea power and air power--supported by ground forces
strategically employed against isolated outpost garrisons.
Always--from the very day we were attacked--it was right militarily
as well as morally to reject the arguments of those shortsighted
people who would have had us throw Britain and Russia to the Nazi
wolves and concentrate against the Japanese. Such people urged that
we fight a purely defensive war against Japan while allowing the
domination of all the rest of the world by nazi-ism and fascism.
In the European theater the necessary bases for the massing of
ground and airpower against Germany were already available in Great
Britain. In the Mediterranean area we could begin ground operations
against major elements of the German Army as rapidly as we could put
troops in the field, first in north Africa and then in Italy.
Therefore, our decision was made to concentrate the bulk of our
ground and air forces against Germany until her utter defeat. That
decision was based on all these factors; and it was also based on
the realization that, of our two enemies, Germany would be more able
to digest quickly her conquests, the more able quickly to convert
the manpower and resources of her conquered territory into a war
We had in Europe two active and indomitable allies--Britain and the
Soviet Union--and there were also the heroic resistance movements in
the occupied countries, constantly engaging and harassing the
We cannot forget how Britain held the line, alone, in 1940 and 1941;
and at the same time, despite ferocious bombardment from the air,
built up a tremendous armaments industry which enabled her to take
the offensive at El Alamein in 1942.
We cannot forget the heroic defense of Moscow and Leningrad and
Stalingrad, or the tremendous Russian offensives of 1943 and 1944
which destroyed formidable German armies.
Nor can we forget how, for more than 7 long years, the Chinese
people have been sustaining the barbarous attacks of the Japanese
and containing large enemy forces on the vast areas of the Asiatic
In the future we must never forget the lesson that we have learned--
that we must have friends who will work with us in peace as they
have fought at our side in war.
As a result of the combined effort of the Allied forces, great
military victories were achieved in 1944: The liberation of France,
Belgium, Greece, and parts of the Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia; the surrender of Rumania and
Bulgaria; the invasion of Germany itself and Hungary; the steady
march through the Pacific islands to the Philippines, Guam and
Saipan; and the beginnings of a mighty air offensive against the
Now, as this Seventy-ninth Congress meets, we have reached the most
critical phase of the war.
The greatest victory of the last year was, of course, the successful
breach on June 6, 1944, of the German "impregnable" sea wall of
Europe and the victorious sweep of the Allied forces through France
and Belgium and Luxemburg--almost to the Rhine itself.
The cross-channel invasion of the Allied armies was the greatest
amphibious operation in the history of the world. It overshadowed
all other operations in this or any other war in its immensity. Its
success is a tribute to the fighting courage of the soldiers who
stormed the beaches--to the sailors and merchant seamen who put the
soldiers ashore and kept them supplied--and to the military and
naval leaders who achieved a real miracle of planning and execution.
And it is also a tribute to the ability of two nations, Britain and
America, to plan together, and work together, and fight together in
perfect cooperation and perfect harmony.
This cross-channel invasion was followed in August by a second great
amphibious operation, landing troops in Southern France. In this,
the same cooperation and the same harmony existed between the
American, French, and other Allied forces based in north Africa and
The success of the two invasions is a tribute also to the ability of
many men and women to maintain silence, when a few careless words
would have imperiled the lives of hundreds of thousands, and would
have jeopardized the whole vast undertakings.
These two great operations were made possible by success in the
Battle of the Atlantic.
Without this success over German submarines, we could not have built
up our invasion forces or air forces in Great Britain, nor could we
have kept a steady stream of supplies flowing to them after they had
landed in France.
The Nazis, however, may succeed in improving their submarines and
their crews. They have recently increased their U-boat activity. The
battle of the Atlantic--like all campaigns in this war--demands
eternal vigilance. But the British, Canadian, and other Allied
Navies, together with our own, are constantly on the alert.
The tremendous operations in Western Europe have overshadowed in the
public mind the less spectacular but vitally important Italian
front. Its place in the strategic conduct of the war in Europe has
been obscured, and--by some people unfortunately--underrated.
It is important that any misconception on that score be
What the Allied forces in Italy are doing is a well-considered part
in our strategy in Europe, now aimed at only one objective--the
total defeat of the Germans. These valiant forces in Italy are
continuing to keep a substantial portion of the German Army under
constant pressure--including some 20 first-line German divisions and
the necessary supply and transport and replacement troops--all of
which our enemies need so badly elsewhere.
Over very difficult terrain and through adverse weather conditions,
our Fifth Army and the British Eighth Army--reinforced by units from
other United Nations, including a brave and well-equipped unit of
the Brazilian Army--have, in the past year, pushed north through
bloody Cassino and the Anzio beachhead, and through Rome until now
they occupy heights overlooking the valley of the Po.
The greatest tribute which can be paid to the courage and fighting
ability of these splendid soldiers in Italy is to point out that
although their strength is about equal to that of the Germans they
oppose, the Allies have been continuously on the offensive.
That pressure, that offensive, by our troops in Italy will continue.
The American people--and every soldier now fighting in the
Apennines--should remember that the Italian front has not lost any
of the importance which it had in the days when it was the only
Allied front in Europe.
In the Pacific during the past year, we have conducted the
fastest-moving offensive in the history of modern warfare. We have
driven the enemy back more than 3,000 miles across the Central
A year ago, our conquest of Tarawa was a little more than a month
A year ago, we were preparing for our invasion of Kwajalein, the
second of our great strides across the Central Pacific to the
A year ago, General MacArthur was still fighting in New Guinea
almost 1,500 miles from his present position in the Philippine
We now have firmly established bases in the Mariana Islands, from
which our Superfortresses bomb Tokyo itself--and will continue to
blast Japan in ever-increasing numbers.
Japanese forces in the Philippines have been cut in two. There is
still hard fighting ahead--costly fighting. But the liberation of
the Philippines will mean that Japan has been largely cut off from
her conquests in the East Indies.
The landing of our troops on Leyte was the largest amphibious
operation thus far conducted in the Pacific.
Moreover, these landings drew the Japanese Fleet into the first
great sea battle which Japan has risked in almost 2 years. Not since
the night engagements around Guadalcanal in November-December 1942,
had our Navy been able to come to grips with major units of the
Japanese Fleet. We had brushed against their fleet in the first
battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944, but not until last
October were we able really to engage a major portion of the
Japanese Navy in actual combat. The naval engagement which raged for
3 days was the heaviest blow ever struck against Japanese sea power.
As a result of that battle, much of what is left of the Japanese
Fleet has been driven behind the screen of islands that separates
the Yellow Sea, the China Sea, and the Sea of Japan from the
Our Navy looks forward to any opportunity which the lords of the
Japanese Navy will give us to fight them again.
The people of this Nation have a right to be proud of the courage
and fighting ability of the men in the armed forces--on all fronts.
They also have a right to be proud of American leadership which has
guided their sons into battle.
The history of the generalship of this war has been a history of
teamwork and cooperation, of skill and daring. Let me give you one
example out of last year's operations in the Pacific.
Last September Admiral Halsey led American naval task forces into
Philippine waters and north to the East China Sea, and struck heavy
blows at Japanese air and sea power.
At that time it was our plan to approach the Philippines by further
stages, taking islands which we may call A, C, and E. However,
Admiral Halsey reported that a direct attack on Leyte appeared
feasible. When General MacArthur received the reports from Admiral
Halsey's task forces, he also concluded that it might be possible to
attack the Japanese in the Philippines directly--by passing islands,
A, C, and E.
Admiral Nimitz thereupon offered to make available to General
MacArthur several divisions which had been scheduled to take the
intermediate objectives. These discussions, conducted at great
distances, all took place in one day.
General MacArthur immediately informed the Joint Chiefs of Staff
here in Washington that he was prepared to initiate plans for an
attack on Leyte in October. Approval of the change in plan was given
on the same day.
Thus, within the space of 24 hours, a major change of plans was
accomplished which involved Army and Navy forces from two different
theaters of operations--a change which hastened the liberation of
the Philippines and the final day of victory--a change which saved
lives which would have been expended in the capture of islands which
are now neutralized far behind our lines.
Our over-all strategy has not neglected the important task of
rendering all possible aid to China. Despite almost insuperable
difficulties, we increased this aid during 1944. At present our aid
to China must be accomplished by air transport--there is no other
way. By the end of 1944, the Air Transport Command was carrying into
China a tonnage of supplies three times as great as that delivered a
year ago, and much more, each month, than the Burma Road ever
delivered at its peak.
Despite the loss of important bases in China, the tonnage delivered
by air transport has enabled General Chennault's Fourteenth Air
Force, which includes many Chinese flyers, to wage an effective and
aggressive campaign against the Japanese. In 1944 aircraft of the
Fourteenth Air Force flew more than 35,000 sorties against the
Japanese and sank enormous tonnage of enemy shipping, greatly
diminishing the usefulness of the China Sea lanes.
British, Dominion, and Chinese forces together with our own have not
only held the line in Burma against determined Japanese attacks but
have gained bases of considerable importance to the supply line into
The Burma campaigns have involved incredible hardship, and have
demanded exceptional fortitude and determination. The officers and
men who have served with so much devotion in these far distant
jungles and mountains deserve high honor from their countrymen.
In all of the far-flung operations of our own armed forces--on land,
and sea and in the air--the final job, the toughest job, has been
performed by the average, easy-going, hard-fighting young American,
who carries the weight of battle on his own shoulders.
It is to him that we and all future generations of Americans must
pay grateful tribute.
But--it is of small satisfaction to him to know that monuments will
be raised to him in the future. He wants, he needs, and he is
entitled to insist upon, our full and active support--now.
Although unprecedented production figures have made possible our
victories, we shall have to increase our goals even more in certain
Peak deliveries of supplies were made to the War Department in
December 1943. Due in part to cut-backs, we have not produced as
much since then. Deliveries of Army supplies were down by 15 percent
by July 1944, before the upward trend was once more resumed.
Because of increased demands from overseas, the Army Service Forces
in the month of October 1944, had to increase its estimate of
required production by 10 percent. But in November, 1 month later,
the requirements for 1945 had to be increased another 10 percent,
sending the production goal well above anything we have yet
attained. Our armed forces in combat have steadily increased their
expenditure of medium and heavy artillery ammunition. As we continue
the decisive phases of this war, the munitions that we expend will
mount day by day.
In October 1944, while some were saying the war in Europe was over,
the Army was shipping more men to Europe than in any previous month
of the war.
One of the most urgent immediate requirements of the armed forces is
more nurses. Last April the Army requirement for nurses was set at
50,000. Actual strength in nurses was then 40,000. Since that time
the Army has tried to raise the additional 10,000. Active recruiting
has been carried on, but the net gain in 8 months has been only
2,000. There are now 42,000 nurses in the Army.
Recent estimates have increased the total number needed to 60,000.
That means that 18,000 more nurses must be obtained for the Army
alone and the Navy now requires 2,000 additional nurses.
The present shortage of Army nurses is reflected in undue strain on
the existing force. More than a thousand nurses are now
hospitalized, and part of this is due to overwork. The shortage is
also indicated by the fact that 11 Army hospital units have been
sent overseas without their complement of nurses. At Army hospitals
in the United States there is only 1 nurse to 26 beds, instead of
the recommended 1 to 15 beds.
It is tragic that the gallant women who have volunteered for service
as nurses should be so overworked. It is tragic that our wounded men
should ever want for the best possible nursing care.
The inability to get the needed nurses for the Army is not due to
any shortage of nurses; 280,000 registered nurses are now practicing
in this country. It has been estimated by the War Manpower
Commission that 27,000 additional nurses could be made available to
the armed forces without interfering too seriously with the needs of
the civilian population for nurses.
Since volunteering has not produced the number of nurses required, I
urge that the Selective Service Act be amended to provide for the
induction of nurses into the armed forces. The need is too pressing
to await the outcome of further efforts at recruiting.
The care and treatment given to our wounded and sick soldiers have
been the best known to medical science. Those standards must be
maintained at all costs. We cannot tolerate a lowering of them by
failure to provide adequate nursing for the brave men who stand
desperately in need of it.
In the continuing progress of this war we have constant need for new
types of weapons, for we cannot afford to fight the war of today or
tomorrow with the weapons of yesterday. For example, the American
Army now has developed a new tank with a gun more powerful than any
yet mounted on a fast-moving vehicle. The Army will need many
thousands of these new tanks in 1945.
Almost every month finds some new development in electronics which
must be put into production in order to maintain our technical
superiority--and in order to save lives. We have to work every day
to keep ahead of the enemy in radar. On D-day, in France, with our
superior new equipment, we located and then put out of operation
every warning set which the Germans had along the French coast.
If we do not keep constantly ahead of our enemies in the development
of new weapons, we pay for our backwardness with the life's blood of
The only way to meet these increased needs for new weapons and more
of them is for every American engaged in war work to stay on his war
job--for additional American civilians, men and women, not engaged
in essential work, to go out and get a war job. Workers who are
released because their production is cut back should get another job
where production is being increased. This is no time to quit or
change to less essential jobs.
There is an old and true saying that the Lord hates a quitter. And
this Nation must pay for all those who leave their essential
jobs--or all those who lay down on their essential jobs for
nonessential reasons. And--again--that payment must be made with the
life's blood of our sons.
Many critical production programs with sharply rising needs are now
seriously hampered by manpower shortages. The most important Army
needs are artillery ammunition, cotton duck, bombs, tires, tanks,
heavy trucks, and even B-29's. In each of these vital programs,
present production is behind requirements.
Navy production of bombardment ammunition is hampered by manpower
shortages; so is production for its huge rocket program. Labor
shortages have also delayed its cruiser and carrier programs, and
production of certain types of aircraft.
There is critical need for more repair workers and repair parts;
this lack delays the return of damaged fighting ships to their
places in the fleet, and prevents ships now in the fighting line
from getting needed overhauling.
The pool of young men under 26 classified as I-A is almost depleted.
Increased replacements for the armed forces will take men now
deferred who are at work in war industry. The armed forces must have
an assurance of a steady flow of young men for replacements. Meeting
this paramount need will be difficult, and will also make it
progressively more difficult to attain the 1945 production goals.
Last year, after much consideration, I recommended that the Congress
adopt a national service act as the most efficient and democratic
way of insuring full production for our war requirements. This
recommendation was not adopted.
I now again call upon the Congress to enact this measure for the
total mobilization of all our human resources for the prosecution of
the war. I urge that this be done at the earliest possible moment.
It is not too late in the war. In fact, bitter experience has shown
that in this kind of mechanized warfare where new weapons are
constantly being created by our enemies and by ourselves, the closer
we come to the end of the war, the more pressing becomes the need
for sustained war production with which to deliver the final blow to
There are three basic arguments for a national service law:
First, it would assure that we have the right numbers of workers in
the right places at the right times.
Second, it would provide supreme proof to all our fighting men that
we are giving them what they are entitled to, which is nothing less
than our total effort.
And, third, it would be the final, unequivocal answer to the hopes
of the Nazis and the Japanese that we may become half-hearted about
this war and that they can get from us a negotiated peace.
National service legislation would make it possible to put ourselves
in a position to assure certain and speedy action in meeting our
It would be used only to the extent absolutely required by military
necessities. In fact, experience in Great Britain and in other
nations at war indicates that use of the compulsory powers of
national service is necessary only in rare instances.
This proposed legislation would provide against loss of retirement
and seniority rights and benefits. It would not mean reduction in
In adopting such legislation, it is not necessary to discard the
voluntary and cooperative processes which have prevailed up to this
time. This cooperation has already produced great results. The
contribution of our workers to the war effort has been beyond
measure. We must build on the foundations that have already been
laid and supplement the measures now in operation, in order to
guarantee the production that may be necessary in the critical
period that lies ahead.
At the present time we are using the inadequate tools at hand to do
the best we can by such expedients as manpower ceilings, and the use
of priority and other powers, to induce men and women to shift from
nonessential to essential war jobs.
I am in receipt of a joint letter from the Secretary of War and the
Secretary of the Navy, dated January 3, 1945, which says:
"With the experience of 3 years of war and after the most thorough
consideration, we are convinced that it is now necessary to carry
out the statement made by the Congress in the joint resolutions
declaring that a state of war existed with Japan and Germany: That
'to bring the conflict to a successful conclusion, all of the
resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the
"In our considered judgment, which is supported by General Marshall
and Admiral King, this requires total mobilization of our manpower
by the passage of a national war service law. The armed forces need
this legislation to hasten the day of final victory, and to keep to
a minimum the cost in lives.
"National war service, the recognition by law of the duty of every
citizen to do his or her part in winning the war, will give complete
assurance that the need for war equipment will be filled. In the
coming year we must increase the output of many weapons and supplies
on short notice. Otherwise we shall not keep our production abreast
of the swiftly changing needs of war. At the same time it will be
necessary to draw progressively many men now engaged in war
production to serve with the armed forces, and their places in war
production must be filled promptly. These developments will require
the addition of hundreds of thousands to those already working in
war industry. We do not believe that these needs can be met
effectively under present methods.
"The record made by management and labor in war industry has been a
notable testimony to the resourcefulness and power of America. The
needs are so great, nevertheless, that in many instances we have
been forced to recall soldiers and sailors from military duty to do
work of a civilian character in war production, because of the
urgency of the need for equipment and because of inability to
recruit civilian labor."
Pending action by the Congress on the broader aspects of national
service, I recommend that the Congress immediately enact legislation
which will be effective in using the services of the 4,000,000 men
now classified as IV-F in whatever capacity is best for the war
In the field of foreign policy, we propose to stand together with
the United Nations not for the war alone but for the victory for
which the war is fought.
It is not only a common danger which unites us but a common hope.
Ours is an association not of governments but of peoples--and the
peoples' hope is peace. Here, as in England; in England, as in
Russia; in Russia, as in China; in France, and through the continent
of Europe, and throughout the world; wherever men love freedom, the
hope and purpose of the people are for peace--a peace that is
durable and secure.
It will not be easy to create this peoples' peace. We delude
ourselves if we believe that the surrender of the armies of our
enemies will make the peace we long for. The unconditional surrender
of the armies of our enemies is the first and necessary step--but
the first step only.
We have seen already, in areas liberated from the Nazi and the
Fascist tyranny, what problems peace will bring. And we delude
ourselves if we attempt to believe wishfully that all these problems
can be solved overnight.
The firm foundation can be built--and it will be built. But the
continuance and assurance of a living peace must, in the long run,
be the work of the people themselves.
We ourselves, like all peoples who have gone through the difficult
processes of liberation and adjustment, know of our own experience
how great the difficulties can be. We know that they are not
difficulties peculiar to any continent or any nation. Our own
Revolutionary War left behind it, in the words of one American
historian, "an eddy of lawlessness and disregard of human life."
There were separatist movements of one kind or another in Vermont,
Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Maine. There were
insurrections, open or threatened, in Massachusetts and New
Hampshire. These difficulties we worked out for ourselves as the
peoples of the liberated areas of Europe, faced with complex
problems of adjustment, will work out their difficulties for
Peace can be made and kept only by the united determination of free
and peace-loving peoples who are willing to work together--willing
to help one another--willing to respect and tolerate and try to
understand one another's opinions and feelings.
The nearer we come to vanquishing our enemies the more we inevitably
become conscious of differences among the victors.
We must not let those differences divide us and blind us to our more
important common and continuing interests in winning the war and
building the peace.
International cooperation on which enduring peace must be based is
not a one-way street.
Nations like individuals do not always see alike or think alike, and
international cooperation and progress are not helped by any nation
assuming that it has a monopoly of wisdom or of virtue.
In the future world the misuse of power, as implied in the term
"power politics," must not be a controlling factor in international
relations. That is the heart of the principles to which we have
subscribed. We cannot deny that power is a factor in world politics
any more than we can deny its existence as a factor in national
politics. But in a democratic world, as in a democratic nation,
power must be linked with responsibility, and obliged to defend and
justify itself within the framework of the general good.
Perfectionism, no less than isolationism or imperialir politics, may
obstruct the paths to international peace. Let us not forget that
the retreat to isolationism a quarter of a century ago was started
not by a direct attack against international cooperation but against
the alleged imperfections of the peace.
In our disillusionment after the last war we preferred international
anarchy to international cooperation with nations which did not see
and think exactly as we did. We gave up the hope of gradually
achieving a better peace because we had not the courage to fulfill
our responsibilities in an admittedly imperfect world.
We must not let that happen again, or we shall follow the same
tragic road again--the road to a third world war.
We can fulfill our responsibilities for maintaining the security of
our own country only by exercising our power and our influence to
achieve the principles in which we believe and for which we have
In August 1941 Prime Minister Churchill and I agreed to the
principles of the Atlantic Charter, these being later incorporated
into the Declaration by United Nations of January 1, 1942. At that
time certain isolationists protested vigorously against our right to
proclaim the principles--and against the very principles themselves.
Today, many of the same people are protesting against the
possibility of violation of the same principles.
It is true that the statement of principles in the Atlantic Charter
does not provide rules of easy application to each and every one of
this war-torn world's tangled situations. But it is a good and a
useful thing--it is an essential thing--to have principles toward
which we can aim.
And we shall not hesitate to use our influence--and to use it now--
to secure so far as is humanly possible the fulfillment of the
principles of the Atlantic Charter. We have not shrunk from the
military responsibilities brought on by this war. We cannot and will
not shrink from the political responsibilities which follow in the
wake of battle.
I do not wish to give the impression that all mistakes can be
avoided and that many disappointments are not inevitable in the
making of peace. But we must not this time lose the hope of
establishing an international order which will be capable of
maintaining peace and realizing through the years more perfect
justice between nations.
To do this we must be on our guard not to exploit and exaggerate the
differences between us and our allies, particularly with reference
to the peoples who have been liberated from Fascist tyranny. That is
not the way to secure a better settlement of those differences or to
secure international machinery which can rectify mistakes which may
I should not be frank if I did not admit concern about many
situations--the Greek and Polish for example. But those situations
are not as easy or as simple to deal with as some spokesmen, whose
sincerity I do not question, would have us believe. We have
obligations, not necessarily legal, to the exiled governments, to
the underground leaders, and to our major allies who came much
nearer the shadows than we did.
We and our allies have declared that it is our purpose to respect
the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under
which they will live and to see sovereign rights and self-government
restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them. But with
internal dissension, with many citizens of liberated countries still
prisoners of war or forced to labor in Germany, it is difficult to
guess the kind of self-government the people really want.
During the interim period, until conditions permit a genuine
expression of the people's will, we and our allies have a duty,
which we cannot ignore, to use our influence to the end that no
temporary or provisional authorities in the liberated countries
block the eventual exercise of the peoples' right freely to choose
the government and institutions under which, as freemen, they are to
It is only too easy for all of us to rationalize what we want to
believe, and to consider those leaders we like responsible and those
we dislike irresponsible. And our task is not helped by stubborn
partisanship, however understandable on the part of opposed internal
It is our purpose to help the peace-loving peoples of Europe to live
together as good neighbors, to recognize their common interests and
not to nurse their traditional grievances against one another.
But we must not permit the many specific and immediate problems of
adjustment connected with the liberation of Europe to delay the
establishment of permanent machinery for the maintenance of peace.
Under the threat of a common danger, the United Nations joined
together in war to preserve their independence and their freedom.
They must now join together to make secure the independence and
freedom of all peace-loving states, so that never again shall
tyranny be able to divide and conquer.
International peace and well-being, like national peace and
well-being, require constant alertness, continuing cooperation, and
International peace and well-being, like national peace and
well-being, can be secured only through institutions capable of life
Many of the problems of the peace are upon us even now while the
conclusion of the war is still before us. The atmosphere of
friendship and mutual understanding and determination to find a
common ground of common understanding, which surrounded the
conversations at Dumbarton Oaks, gives us reason to hope that future
discussions will succeed in developing the democratic and fully
integrated world security system toward which these preparatory
conversations were directed.
We and the other United Nations are going forward, with vigor and
resolution, in our efforts to create such a system by providing for
it strong and flexible institutions of joint and cooperative action.
The aroused conscience of humanity will not permit failure in this
We believe that the extraordinary advances in the means of
intercommunication between peoples over the past generation offer a
practical method of advancing the mutual understanding upon which
peace and the institutions of peace must rest, and it is our policy
and purpose to use these great technological achievements for the
common advantage of the world.
We support the greatest possible freedom of trade and commerce.
We Americans have always believed in freedom of opportunity, and
equality of opportunity remains one of the principal objectives of
our national life. What we believe in for individuals, we believe in
also for nations. We are opposed to restrictions, whether by public
act or private arrangement, which distort and impair commerce,
transit and trade.
We have house cleaning of our own to do in this regard. But it is
our hope, not only in the interest of our own prosperity but in the
interest of the prosperity of the world, that trade and commerce and
access to materials and markets may be freer after this war than
ever before in the history of the world.
One of the most heartening events of the year in the international
field has been the renaissance of the French people and the return
of the French nation to the ranks of the United Nations. Far from
having been crushed by the terror of Nazi domination, the French
people have emerged with stronger faith than ever in the destiny of
their country and in the soundness of the democratic ideals to which
the French nation has traditionally contributed so greatly.
During her liberation, France has given proof of her unceasing
determination to fight the Germans, continuing the heroic efforts of
the resistance groups under the occupation and of all those
Frenchmen throughout the world who refused to surrender after the
disaster of 1940.
Today, French armies are again on the German frontier, and are again
fighting shoulder to shoulder with our sons.
Since our landings in Africa, we have placed in French hands all the
arms and material of war which our resources and the military
situation permitted. And I am glad to say that we are now about to
equip large new French forces with the most modern weapons for
In addition to the contribution which France can make to our common
victory, her liberation likewise means that her great influence will
again be available in meeting the problems of peace.
We fully recognize France's vital interest in a lasting solution of
the German problem and the contribution which she can make in
achieving international security. Her formal adherence to the
declaration by United Nations a few days ago and the proposal at the
Dumbarton Oaks discussions, whereby France would receive one of the
five permanent seats in the proposed Security Council, demonstrate
the extent to which France has resumed her proper position of
strength and leadership.
I am clear in my own mind that, as an essential factor in the
maintenance of peace in the future, we must have universal military
training after this war, and I shall send a special message to the
Congress on this subject.
An enduring peace cannot be achieved without a strong America--
strong in the social and economic sense as well as in the military
In the state of the Union message last year I set forth what I
considered to be an American economic bill of rights.
I said then, and I say now, that these economic truths represent a
second bill of rights under which a new basis of security and
prosperity can be established for all--regardless of station, race
Of these rights the most fundamental, and one on which the
fulfillment of the others in large degree depends, is the "right to
a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or
mines of the Nation." In turn, others of the economic rights of
American citizenship, such as the right to a decent home, to a good
education, to good medical care, to social security, to reasonable
farm income, will, if fulfilled, make major contributions to
achieving adequate levels of employment.
The Federal Government must see to it that these rights become
realities--with the help of States, municipalities, business, labor,
We have had full employment during the war. We have had it because
the Government has been ready to buy all the materials of war which
the country could produce--and this has amounted to approximately
half our present productive capacity.
After the war we must maintain full employment with Government
performing its peacetime functions. This means that we must achieve
a level of demand and purchasing power by private consumers--
farmers, businessmen, workers, professional men, housewives--which
is sufficiently high to replace wartime Government demands; and it
means also that we must greatly increase our export trade above the
Our policy is, of course, to rely as much as possible on private
enterprise to provide jobs. But the American people will not accept
mass unemployment or mere makeshift work. There will be need for the
work of everyone willing and able to work--and that means close to
Full employment means not only jobs--but productive jobs. Americans
do not regard jobs that pay substandard wages as productive jobs.
We must make sure that private enterprise works as it is supposed to
work--on the basis of initiative and vigorous competition, without
the stifling presence of monopolies and cartels.
During the war we have guaranteed investment in enterprise essential
to the war effort. We should also take appropriate measures in
peacetime to secure opportunities for new small enterprises and for
productive business expansion for which finance would otherwise be
This necessary expansion of our peacetime productive capacity will
require new facilities, new plants, and new equipment.
It will require large outlays of money which should be raised
through normal investment channels. But while private capital should
finance this expansion program, the Government should recognize its
responsibility for sharing part of any special or abnormal risk of
loss attached to such financing.
Our full-employment program requires the extensive development of
our natural resources and other useful public works. The undeveloped
resources of this continent are still vast. Our river-watershed
projects will add new and fertile territories to the United States.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, which was constructed at a cost of
$750,000,000--the cost of waging this war for less than 4 days--was
a bargain. We have similar opportunities in our other great river
basins. By harnessing the resources of these river basins, as we
have in the Tennessee Valley, we shall provide the same kind of
stimulus to enterprise as was provided by the Louisiana Purchase and
the new discoveries in the West during the nineteenth century.
If we are to avail ourselves fully of the benefits of civil
aviation, and if we are to use the automobiles we can produce, it
will be necessary to construct thousands of airports and to overhaul
our entire national highway system.
The provision of a decent home for every family is a national
necessity, if this country is to be worthy of its greatness--and
that task will itself create great employment opportunities. Most of
our cities need extensive rebuilding. Much of our farm plant is in a
state of disrepair. To make a frontal attack on the problems of
housing and urban reconstruction will require thoroughgoing
cooperation between industry and labor, and the Federal, State, and
An expanded social-security program, and adequate health and
education programs, must play essential roles in a program designed
to support individual productivity and mass purchasing power. I
shall communicate further with the Congress on these subjects at a
The millions of productive jobs that a program of this nature could
bring are jobs in private enterprise. They are jobs based on the
expanded demand for the output of our economy for consumption and
investment. Through a program of this character we can maintain a
national income high enough to provide for an orderly retirement of
the public debt along with reasonable tax reduction.
Our present tax system geared primarily to war requirements must be
revised for peacetime so as to encourage private demand.
While no general revision of the tax structure can be made until the
war ends on all fronts, the Congress should be prepared to provide
tax modifications at the end of the war in Europe, designed to
encourage capital to invest in new enterprises and to provide jobs.
As an integral part of this program to maintain high employment, we
must, after the war is over, reduce or eliminate taxes which bear
too heavily on consumption.
The war will leave deep disturbances in the world economy, in our
national economy, in many communities, in many families, and in many
individuals. It will require determined effort and responsible
action of all of us to find our way back to peacetime, and to help
others to find their way back to peacetime--a peacetime that holds
the values of the past and the promise of the future.
If we attack our problems with determination we shall succeed. And
we must succeed. For freedom and peace cannot exist without
During the past year the American people, in a national election,
reasserted their democratic faith.
In the course of that campaign various references were made to
"strife" between this administration and the Congress, with the
implication, if not the direct assertion, that this administration
and the Congress could never work together harmoniously in the
service of the Nation.
It cannot be denied that there have been disagreements between the
legislative and executive branches--as there have been disagreements
during the past century and a half.
I think we all realize too that there are some people in this
Capital City whose task is in large part to stir up dissension, and
to magnify normal healthy disagreements so that they appear to be
But--I think that the over-all record in this respect is eloquent:
The Government of the United States of America--all branches of
it--has a good record of achievement in this war.
The Congress, the Executive, and the Judiciary have worked together
for the common good.
I myself want to tell you, the Members of the Senate and of the
House of Representatives, how happy I am in our relationships and
friendships. I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting some of the
new Members in each House, but I hope that opportunity will offer
itself in the near future.
We have a great many problems ahead of us and we must approach them
with realism and courage.
This new year of 1945 can be the greatest year of achievement in
Nineteen forty-five can see the final ending of the Nazi-Fascist
reign of terror in Europe.
Nineteen forty-five can see the closing in of the forces of
retribution about the center of the malignant power of imperialistic
Most important of all--1945 can and must see the substantial
beginning of the organization of world peace. This organization must
be the fulfillment of the promise for which men have fought and died
in this war. It must be the justification of all the sacrifices that
have been made--of all the dreadful misery that this world has
We Americans of today, together with our allies, are making
history--and I hope it will be better history than ever has been
We pray that we may be worthy of the unlimited opportunities that
God has given us.
F D R