MARGARET CHASE SMITH LIBRARY

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"Cold War"

Margaret Chase Smith


"Women's World Group"
Radio statement
Easter 1949

"Declaration of Conscience"
Statement on the floor of the U.S. Senate
June 1, 1950

"Senate Bill - S. 200"
Proposal making membership in the Communist Party illegal
January 7, 1953

"McCarthy Letter"
Letter to Joseph McCarthy
July 14, 1956

"Leave It to the Girls"
Lyrics to presidential campaign tribute to
Margaret Chase Smith
January 1964

RADIO STATEMENT by Senator Smith
Parmer -- January 30, 1949

From the collection: Statements and Speeches, vol. VI, pp. 60-61

"The Number One problem of the American people today is fear of insecurity. This fear shapes our daily lives. It has created a psychology and philosophy of living only for today. It has clouded our vision to plan for the future.

What we fear so much is the possibility of a third World War, and I shall be blunt but honest, a third World War started by a Russian attack upon us. We have been, and are still, trying to meet this problem through the United Nations. Developments thus far have been most discouraging, but we must not lose patience. We must keep on trying as long as there is the faintest glimmer of hope.

The United Nations is a symbol of moral force. It is founded upon the fervent hope that men will ultimately be governed by moral force and that physical force can be eliminated or at least minimized, as a means of achievement and of settling differences.

That is good and it is an ideal solution to the world's past problems of belligerency - as long as all of the parties involved respect this objective by acts as well as words. But you know, and I know, that because all parties have not so evidenced this necessary respect, the United Nations organization today is in a most precarious position.

So precarious is that position that the United States cannot return to the premature, and unjoined, disarmament that it so disastrously and exclusively adopted after World War I. In fact, the attitude of Russia has left us no other choice but to rearm.

But in rearming to protect ourselves from the threat of Russia, we are fanning the fire of another fear -- the fear of economic insecurity. For with each B-36 superbomber that we build -- with each super aircraft carrier -- with each atomic bomb -- the tax burden grows greater and inflation looms more menacingly. The means that we devise to eliminate the fear of military insecurity ironically breeds the fear of economic insecurity.

And we must realize that Russia is banking heavily on the hope that the United States will suffer economic insecurity to such a degree as to cause national bankruptcy. This the Politburo feels would make America ripe for a bloodless revolution of communism and thus obviate the necessity for war.

But there can be no question that the risk of economic insecurity is preferable to the risk of military insecurity. No idealistic foreign policy can have any long-term success, in the world of today, unless it is backed up by the necessary realistic military policy. To put it another way, we can't bluff the Russians. We've got to have what it takes to back up our foreign policy.

I think most every well-informed authority will agree that our foreign policy should be two-fold: (1) to make aggression as unattractive as possible and (2) to make cooperative peace as attractive as possible. Most of us support international economic schemes, such as the Marshall Plan, to effect peace. But many of us oppose proposals for matching our military strength with our international economic goals.

Most of us realize that it is impossible to stop communism from spreading in a highly unstable world without a military force-in-being. But only a rare few have any means of judging just how much military force-in-being is needed. Most of us think more of our personal needs of higher wages and lower prices than we do of the Nation's needs in the difficult role of world leadership for peace that America has undertaken.

Before we can even approach a guess as to how large our armed services should be we must have some idea of what we want the size of our military force to do. I think there are three achievements which we should strive for through the existence of a large enough military force:

(1) We should give the greatest reassurance that we can to our present allies. We should reassure their protection with a protective wall behind which they can rally their forces, rebuild their morale, and reconstruct their own governments. This should be our answer to the Iron Curtain.

(2) We should make it crystal clear to the Politburo that we will back up our firm talk. Russia must be convinced that we mean what we say.

(3) And at the same time, we should extend the olive branch with an eagle, instead of a dove carrying it to the bear. We should convince all Nations that the United States is a reliable and desirable partner in alliances.

The $64 question for the 81st Congress then is how big must our military force be in order to achieve the objectives of our foreign policy -- how big can it get without threatening our economic security?"

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