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The State of the Nation Essay

I join you today in opening your greatest opportunity yet to make history for our people. This is a year exceptionally heavy with decision and destiny; and your actuations in this your second regular session may spell the difference between irreparable disaster and survival to our country. I appreciate the earnest response of the Congress to the urgent call of action on the tax legislation program submitted in the last two special sessions which I had called for the purpose. I am gratified by the thoroughness with which you have discussed the individual tax measures.

I am happy that you have passed the military appropriation bill to provide means for immediate strengthening of our fighting units for internal security. The solid action of both houses in approving a concurrent resolution expressing the policy of this Government to give preferential and serious consideration to the main recommendations of the U. S. Economic Survey Mission to accelerate social reform and economic development, and strengthen free and democratic institutions, is an earnest of our determinations to do our part to earn American assistance under the Economic Cooperation Administration.

It is understandable that all these measures cannot be approved in the twinkle of an eye; they involve our capacity not only to shoulder immediate additional tax burdens but also a long-range program of fiscal rehabilitation and financial stability. But the necessity to provide for our imperative needs in the present world crisis presses, as the untoward effects of their neglect mount daily in proportion and importance. Therefore, it is my sincere hope that special efforts will be exerted to carry out our program without much delay.

I refer especially to those measures designed to bolster our security from within and ward off danger from without. Of course, it will be next to impossible to provide for a complete program of national defense with our limited resources alone. We need a goodly measure of outside assistance from friends and allies, particularly the United States; and, to deserve that, we must show beyond cavil that we have the spirit and the will to help ourselves. Our preparations for defense are not for our own survival alone.

We are no less participating directly in the implementation of a world issue, doing our proportionate share in the world effort to preserve peace and freedom for all. Our earnest efforts, therefore, to provide for our own security under the present circumstances become a vital part of our contribution to world security. On the occasion of your three special sessions called after your last regular session I reported to you, and in my radio chats every fifteenth of the month, to the people, on the state of the nation.

And as close and constant observers of ·world developments, you bear witness to such a succession of events as to keep you well apprised not only of the state of the nation but of the ·world situation. It is, therefore, superfluous to repeat in this message, which I intended to be brief, all the problems that have been and are facing us, or to enumerate in detail the unfinished work requiring our common action. I shall, therefore, mention only the outstanding and most pressing ones.


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