Page images









FEBRUARY 29, 1944.—Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and ordered

to be printed


February 29, 1944. To the Congress of the United States of America:

I commend to the favorable consideration of the Congress the enclosed report from the Acting Secretary of State with an accompanying memorandum, to the end that the act approved August 9, 1939, entitled "An act to authorize the President to render closer and more effective the relationship between the American Republics," may be amended to permit the development of similar programs of mutual understanding and cooperation with other nations of the world.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT. (Enclosures: Report, memorandum.)


Washington, February 21, 1944. The PRESIDENT,

The White House. The PRESIDENT: I have the honor to submit with a view to its transmission to the Congress, if you approve, a bill to amend the act approved August 9, 1939, entitled "An act to authorize the President to render closer and more effective the relationship between the American republics." The purpose of the amendment is to authorize extension to other nations of the world of programs to promote mutual understanding and cooperation in general character similar to that developed and maintained with the American republics under the authority of the existing legislation.

1. The act approved August 9, 1939 (Public, No. 355, 76th Cong.), authorized appropriations whereby the President was enabled to utilize the services of the departments, agencies, and independent establishments of the Government in carrying out the purposes set forth in the treaties, resolutions, declarations, and recommendations signed by the 21 American republics at the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace, held at Buenos Aires in 1936, and at the Eighth International Conference of American States held at Lima, Peru, in 1938. This act also authorized the creation of advisory committees composed of leaders of American thought and opinion to provide essential guidance and to enlist wide-spread cooperation on the part of private as well as Government agencies in formulating a concrete program.

Under the authority of Public, No. 355, funds have been appropriated to the Department of State for "Cooperation with the American Republics," which funds are in turn allocated to the separate departments, agencies, and establishments for the purpose of carrying out specific projects relating to the other Americas.

The coordination and integration of these projects into one concrete program is carried out through the Interdepartmental Committee for Cooperation with the American Republics, which approves individual projects on the basis of their contribution to the furtherance of more effective relationships in the broad divisions of economic, social, scientific, and cultural fields.

2. The last of these programs, as it relates to the other American republics, developed and maintained pursuant to Public, No. 355, is centered in the Department of State. Close cooperation has been maintained with the program carried forward by the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs through a joint committee which has met weekly to consider and correlate all Government activities in this field. For the present year, in accordance with an exchange of letters of August 12 and 14, 1942, between the Under Secretary of State and the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, there has been transferred to the Department of State responsibility for those activities having long-range implication which in the past have been carried on by the Office of the Coordinator. The purpose of this transfer is to place the cooperative program of the Government on a permanent basis.

3. The present scope of the program under the direct supervision of the Department of State is indicated by the following brief summary of activities.

Exchange of persons.--Primary emphasis has been placed upon the increase of mutual understanding through personal relationships between leaders of thought and opinion in all fields. The exchange of persons has in the past included visits to the United States of persons of influence in the press and the professions, education, and the sciences from the other American republics, and a reciprocal southward movement, as well as the exchange of students, interns, and professors.

The Department has cooperated with the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs in exchanges related to the important fields of health and sanitation, of commerce, industry, and agriculture.

American centers.-A substantial part is played in the development of continental solidarity by the local institutions in the principal cities of the other American republics, such as American institutes and libraries at Mexico City, Bogota, and Rio de Janeiro. Their membership includes nationals as well as resident citizens of the United States. Among their activities are the teaching of English; maintenance of libraries of United States books and periodicals; sponsorship of radio programs, concerts, lectures, and exhibits representing the United States; aid in the selection and orientation of students and other persons who plan to travel or study in the United States; and publication of articles on American life and civilization. American institutes have been formed in 22 important cities of the other American republics and in addition well-equipped American libraries have been set up in Mexico City, Montevideo, and Managua.

Publications.-To promote a broader knowledge and understanding of American life, books and publications are a medium of highest value. The Department has cooperated with the Office of the Coordinator and with other agencies in meeting increasingly numerous requests from libraries, universities, and other institutions for materials on the United States. More than 100 outstanding titles in the fields of history, biography, technical works, and social studies have already been translated or are in process of translation and publication. Thousands of volumes and copies of periodicals in English have also been distributed in answer to requests-a movement which has great significance in the light of the rapidly growing study of English.

Motion pictures and radio.-Motion pictures are the world language of today and serve to reach all classes of people in foreign countries with the story of the United States. During recent months educational documentary films procured in cooperation with the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs have reached audiences totaling more than 2,000,000 persons monthly. Showings have been made through schools, universities, hospitals, Army and Navy officials, labor groups, Government officials, political clubs, professional men, and other groups of adults and children.

The radio is an indispensable instrument for creating an understanding of the United States, particularly among the masses of foreign countries. The Department has cooperated in this field with the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, the Office of War Information, and the national and other broadcasting companies in the United States.

Reciprocal aspects of the program.-A program for better understanding must be a two-way process. It is as essential to inform the people of the United States concerning the other American republics and other countries as it is to inform those nations about the United States.

Accordingly, the Department has sought, with marked success, to enlist the active cooperation of the educational, intellectual, civic, and related institutions and organizations—both governmental and private-of the United States.

4. That progress has been made toward the establishment of closer and more effective relations among the American republics is indicated by their unity of thought and action at the Conferences of Foreign Ministers of the American Republics at Habana in July of 1940 and again at Rio de Janeiro in January of 1942; and by the general support of the policy of hemispheric solidarity by the peoples of the 21 nations.

Reports on the basis of approximately 4 years of operations substantiate the conclusion that the fostering of closer relations through the facilities of an educational and intellectual interchange has been an important factor in the success of the broad program both to the extent that mutual knowledge and understanding have been increased and to the extent that cooperation in the economic, scientific, and social fields has thereby been facilitated.

5. As transportation and communications have progressed, economic interdependence, political interaction, social intercourse, and intellectual exchange have increased among all peoples.

This circumstance, in turn, has not only added to the knowledge of peoples about one another but also emphasized the need for an ever better understanding between them.

To achieve this end, many of the nations instituted cultural programs, involving the study and teaching of foreign languages, the exchange of scientific information, books, films, and art objects, and the interchange of students, teachers, and technical experts. Some of these programs have been carried on under governmental guidance, others have been spontaneous undertakings of private initiative.

As an outgrowth of this general situation, the United States undertook under the authority of the act of August 9, 1939, to initiate under the guidance of the Department of State, with cooperation from other Government agencies and private organizations, a program to promote mutual understanding with the other American republics.

However, from the outset an attempt was made to supply the demands for international exchanges which came from all parts of the world. Informative educational films were supplied, in addition to the other American republics, to such countries as Belgium, South Africa, Canada, and Switzerland, although in numerous other instances the Department was unable to accede to requests for films.

Since the bulk of the Department's funds for international exchanges came from appropriations authorized under Public, No. 355 (and therefore restricted to use in relation to the American republics), the program for the other areas of the world was necessarily developed on a very limited scale.

6. The changing world situation and the entrance of the United States into the war intensified the need for cooperative programs for certain areas outside the other American republics. In January 1942 a program with China was initiated on a limited scale by means of a graut from the President's Emergency Fund. The three basic activities then inaugurated and carried forward during the 1943 fiscal year have been (1) the provision of technical and educational leaders to China; (2) the extension of aid to Chinese students in the United States, thus augmenting China's supply of skilled technicians; and

« PreviousContinue »